- Our brains are all unique. They are wired differently. I use highways and cars as an example to explain this concept. Our brains have highways (our neural networks) and the cars in our brains transport information all over. Now let’s say there is a traffic jam somewhere. You have to find a way around to get to where you’re going. It might take longer but you get there.
- We all have different strengths and weaknesses. While some people can be great a memorization or math, we all have strengths that make us special.
- Each individual’s unique difficulties don’t need to define them. Help your children identify and value their strengths. We are more than our problems. (This is helpful for parents to remember in the thick of it.)
- We are never alone in our journey. In my own family, my son often came home and reported that he couldn’t keep up with the games at recess. (Thanks to executive processing issues!) As a result, he was asked not to participate (this is a nice way of saying it) by the other kids. He was devastated. The best thing for him was to know that he wasn’t alone. We discussed my struggles as a child and talked about other people we knew with similar strengths. Reading Rick Riordan’s books about Percy Jackson really helped normalize differences for him and helped him recognize his own super powers, even if they don’t include playing basketball on the playground with the other kids.
For parents, speaking with your children about their differences can be overwhelming at first. But I promise you that having the courage to do so will give your children a boost as well. They will know that you are there for them. Please understand that these conversations will evolve over time, as your child grows and develops and learns more about themselves and how they show up in the world. It can be so powerful (and painful at times) to watch, but we were given these special children to raise and love. So here’s to more grace and acceptance.
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