Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I have been thinking a lot about what my expectations should be for my children's lives. Many of the books that I have read about children with disabilities have cautioned against too high expectations which can lead to regression in a lot of those children. As a parent it is hard to know how high is too high. Here is what I do know.
            - I will not let my children use their disability as an excuse. Yes it is a limitation but don't we all have those. I struggle with math but my father wouldn't let me take the easy way out. I spent more time than others on homework, studied more for tests and was darn proud of the 81 that I got on the test. It wasn't an A but it was the best that I could do. That is what I expect of my children.

          - I will not let them forget they are valued. Their contributions are just as meaningful as someone who does not have a disability. Just because not everyone understands how they think doesn't mean that what they think isn't important. I expect them to share their ideas and their feelings because they are important.

         - I expect them to accomplish great things. I will not specify what those things are, they get to choose. But whatever they choose I know they will do their best. In the end it's enough.

So later when I feel a hint of disappointment when my child is not keeping up with the others around them I have a checklist to go through. Is my child using his disability as an excuse? No, check. Does my child feel valued? Yes, Check. Is he accomplishing great things? Always, Check.

Expectations met!

1 comment:

Andy, Mary, Nate, Lizzie said...

I love the "not letting them use their disability as an excuse." My daughter is soooo good at using her PDD-NOS to manipulate people! She is brilliant at getting her way! Even with her speech therapist, I have to put my foot down once in a while and say, "NO! She knows how to do that herself. Make her do it!" She fools everyone into thinking her condition is much more severe than it is. Oy! I'm in trouble when she becomes a teen!