Having worked with pediatrics for most of my life, working as a speech therapist for 23+ years and raising two of my own children; I have been afforded a unique perspective in understanding the trials and tribulations, the obstacles and rewards, and the questions and answers that are prevalent in raising a child with special needs. With that stated, a prevailing impression that I have found prevalent in my own reflection of my experiences are the comments and considerations raised by families ring a loud bell of familiarity. Let me elaborate...
For me, I have recognized beneficial characteristics needed in raising a child regardless of their developmental beginnings. Albeit, family dynamics do present differently and have varying levels of impact and play an integral role when comparing situations. If we consider that these characteristics reveal themselves as occurring on a spectrum of developmental influence, we can determine that the emphasis of importance is squarely predicated on the needs of a child. The idea is that their value will ebb and flow as needs evolve. In my opinion, raising a child [any child] comes down to a few fundamental aspects: Love, Stability, Structure, Predictability, Support (freedom to explore/grow). With these ideals in mind, we can explore the relative similarities regardless of a child’s “needs”.
Interestingly, it is the last described characteristic where therapists are most often inserting their expertise. Yet, it is through each of the characteristics contributing in concert that a child’s progress is realized. The highest degree of success is typically appreciated through a coordinated partnership on the part of the family and the therapist. If nothing else is understood from this writing, understand that Love, Stability, Structure, Predictability and Support (freedom to explore/grow) are key considerations for positive development for which all children would benefit.