By: Martianne Stanger
Some of you might recall the poem I shared in honor of Autism Awareness Month.
Since we just had ADHD Awareness Week and Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness month in October, I thought I would share another poem that I wrote as part of Jennie Linthorst’s LifeSPEAKS workshop for moms of special needs children. I wrote this poem in reaction to what folks said and did when I shared that one of my children is challenged by Sensory Processing Disorder (SPDJ and am sharing it now for two reasons:
- When some people first heard me refer to SPD, they thought it was a new form of ADHD. It is not, but many children with ADHD face SPD as well.
- Since I wrote this poem, our son has been diagnosed ADHD. ADHD, of course, is a better known disorder than SPD, but one that many don’t “believe” in or misunderstand (myself included at one time). Thus, reactions to ADHD can be similar to ones I received about SPD.
Regardless of whether my son has SPD, ADHD, both. or something else, I feel the same way about him. My husband and I seek to un-layer what is “wrong” with him, so we can better embrace all that is “right” about him.
Every child is unique. Some are wired in ways that require us parents to do a little extra searching, maintain a modicum more of patience, and seek a variety of different avenues in order to help our children help themselves in being the best that they can be.
Alexander Graham Bell, Beethoven, Leonardo de Vinci, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Sir Isaac Newton ,and so many more famous folks are said to have been challenged with ADHD, SPD, or both. Imagine the world if their oddities, and resulting explorations, had been “fixed.” It’d be a pretty inconvenient, uninspired, and blah place, don’t you think?
That’s why I say, “No fixing, Please.”
“No Fixing, Please.”
I see it in their eyes.
I hear it in their voices.
They cannot disguise
Sensory Processing Disorder?
The new ADD?
Hmm… perhaps not.
Perhaps it’s just you.
Your inadequate parenting.
You desire for an excuse.
There is nothing wrong with that child
That some good discipline could not fix.
Then, the others.
They project relief
Or some combination of both:
Ah, there is something there.
We were right.
We knew something was going on.
It’s got a name now.
So, how do we fix it?
He is not a broken piece equipment.
He is not busted toy.
He is a boy.
A boy loved by many.
Understood by few.
He is an individual
Who needs love
Not your judgments.
Not your pity.
He needs action.
How about EMBRACING for a start?
It is my hope that by sharing this poem, I might give words to other parents facing the acronym soup of modern-day medicine. I also hope that I may inspire a friend, a grandparent, a teacher, or another person to see their child with special needs beyond the child’s diagnosis.
Diagnoses are good and can help us to understand and access help for our children. They can set positive action in motion. But, you know what is better? Our children and how much we love them.
I know that in discovering more about my oldest son, I have learned a lot about myself, my husband, and my other two children. We are all unique and we all have gifts to share.
Today, please embrace the uniqueness that is your child!