Do we really think all of our children need to be ‘diagnosed’ and ‘labeled’ with some sort of disorder before we start to understand that EVERY CHILD IS A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD?!?!!
Having worked with young children for a couple of decades I noticed a definite ramping up in numbers of children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD or Autism or something on the Autistic Spectrum and on and on and on… not to mention the jump in the number of children in various ‘therapy’ programs, be it Speech Therapy or Behavioral Therapy. Surely those of you who have been providing care for other people’s children over the past 10 years or so have noticed the same?
There are many ‘professionals’ speculating as to the cause of this apparent explosion… looking at things like prenatal care, diet, environmental pollutants, etc. I may be in the minority here but it all just leaves me shaking my head because from my perspective… I’d say the kids are trying to teach us something invaluable and once again… we seem to be missing the boat.
In order to understand my perspective it might help to know that I definitely held, and continue to hold, that the ‘teaching‘ going on in my childcare home was definitely heavier on the side of the children teaching ME rather than vice versa! That said, let me sum up what I believe they are currently teaching us:
- Stay Present with Me – Yes, as adults we have developed a habit that serves NO ONE. We are looking backwards or looking forward but rarely, rarely are we fully present in the NOW. Which is where children live!!!
- Pay Attention to What I Need – This doesn’t mean you, as the guardian, should put your own needs on the back burner. In fact, that would be foolhardy. It does mean that each child is always expressing their needs; they may be doing that in a way you don’t understand yet it’s crucial to VALIDATE not VIOLATE the needs of each individual child.
Those are two very powerful and wise concepts. I’ll be addressing each of them seperately in future posts. In the meantime, let’s ease up on the labeling and simply start LISTENING. I have a hunch it will serve our children and our community in bigger and better ways than anything else!
Play well together ,
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-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* Breathe