For years, my wife, Jennie, and I were up to our necks in early intervention. It literally took over both of our lives completely. That time was a blur of evaluations, IEPs, EEGs, medications, OT, PT, SLP, and other therapies. We traipsed across the country to see this developmental optometrist, or to attend that special needs conference or workshop. Dinner-table conversation revolved around which new therapy we might try. Should we do Neuro-fit? Or Vision Therapy? Or maybe The Listening Program. What about neuro-feedback? Should Graham join a social skills group for the summer? What about a tutor? Jennie is to scheduling what Bobby Fisher was to chess. She’s a scheduling savant. For years Graham’s life was micro-scheduled with ninja-like precision every moment of every day. From the time he was one-and-a-half, until the time he was around seven, not a nano-moment of early intervention time was wasted, lest a neural connection that could be forged wasn’t. Our lives seemed to revolve almost entirely around addressing Graham’s issues. …continue reading
Father’s Day holds special significance in our house. Not only is it a day to honor Jack’s dad for, well, all that goes into being Jack’s dad, but it’s also his birthday. So, I have to give a quick “Happy birthday, sweetheart!” to my little boy’s daddy and my husband.
I truly think that dads are the unsung heroes of special needs parenting. The honest truth is that there are dads out there that simply cannot handle the marathon that is parenting a kid with special needs. However, my husband is definitely not one of those men. He is down in the trenches with me every step of the way.
Moms are the most visible members of the parenting team. Typically, we’re the ones who leave our careers to help shuttle our kids back and forth to therapies, school, and other special needs programs. We talk to the insurance companies, become way too versed in special education law, and learn all there is to know about sensory integration, fostering engagement, and any of the myriad of ways to better help our children.
That doesn’t mean that the dads aren’t there and are not supportive. Someone has to go to work and earn the living and insurance that provides these pathways for our children along their journeys. It is the dads who stay behind while moms go to support group meetings and Medicaid workshops. It is the dads who take over after a long day in the office to give us mamas a chance to do a bit around the house or give us a moment to simply put our feet up. …continue reading