Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

On the Ice

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

On the Ice

Article excerpt

Parents are not permitted to step gingerly into the world of children with developmental disabilities. Rather, we are cruelly shoved from behind and, like novice skaters, we must fight to maintain our balance in a situation which may never be quite balanced. I believe my view will ring true for many parents who find themselves desperately seeking answers to questions for which the professionals have no answers. When will our child walk? Will he be diagnosed? What will the future hold for him and our family? Everything we thought would come in an orderly, natural fashion is now closely scrutinized. As for the answers, we can only wait and see. We are plagued by our fears. Do we have too many expectations? Or too few?

When my child stepped off the expected route and pushed me onto the ice, I became obsessed with my quest for answers. Like a hunter, I chased down every clue and examined all the evidence. Instead of answers, I discovered only more questions and doubts. Like a novice skater, I lurched about wildly, trying to steady myself, while all around me others seemed to skate by effortlessly. Reading became my all-consuming hobby. Not romance novels or adventures, mind you, but case histories and medical journals. …

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