Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Secret to Being a Successful Taxi Driver: I Think Special Kids Give Us Not Only Special Missions in Life, but They May Also Help Us, as Parents, Become More Successful

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Secret to Being a Successful Taxi Driver: I Think Special Kids Give Us Not Only Special Missions in Life, but They May Also Help Us, as Parents, Become More Successful

Article excerpt

The other day, I happened to come across an interesting book entitled 1000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently by Marc and Angel Chernoff. I have to admit, the last thing I think of when I think of myself is someone who is successful, so I thought I would take a peek at the book with the hopes of getting some pointers. If someone asked me how I would describe myself, I would have to include the words overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, worrisome, and taxi driver. I call the front two seats in my SUV my command center. This is where all the magic happens as I'm shuffling Broden between ABA, OT, and Speech. Successful? Never would I think it in a million years, but as I read some of Marc and Angel's book I thought, "Well, maybe a little bit, thanks to my kids." I wanted to share a few pointers that were provided because I think special kids give us not only special missions in life, but they may also help us, as parents, become more successful.

1. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. I'm convinced that when your child receives a diagnosis of autism, the doctor turns to their mother and gives them a prescription of helplessness and worry. I still, to this day, remember the mistakes I have made and playing the "woulda and shoulda game." I'm grateful for my husband, because each time he hears me start down that road he says, "Yes, but look what we learned. We won't make that mistake again." I'm a true believer of the saying when a door closes, look for an open window.

2. Start being more polite to yourself. As parents, we are so hard on ourselves. At times I think that there must be a huge mistake with me being chosen to care for Broden. Surely there is someone else out there that can do a better job as I lay on the couch exhausted when I should be conducting interactive play with him. Soon the clouds part. I remember my friend Stacey telling me, "Shelly, you're such a good mom." I counter, "No, I'm not." She takes my hand, "Yes, you are. You're a great mom and don't think anything different."

3. Start forgiving yourself and others. With all of the studies being conducted about what causes autism, I couldn't tell you how many times I have dissected my pregnancy trying to see if there was something I did to give Broden autism. …

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