When a child is newly diagnosed with autism or another disability, there is often a period of overwhelm and a feeling that this needs to be “fixed.” The sudden shift in expectations for one’s child may lead to fear, confusion, and sometimes despair. Often, one parent may feel that they are carrying the emotional load, while the other may minimize or deny the particular challenges of their child. It can become difficult to just “be” with one’s child without constantly feeling like there is something to work on. Being amid so much input from doctors and therapists can take away from enjoying the child in front of you.
Without denying the real challenges of raising a child with developmental disabilities, I believe in the beauty of neurodivergent minds and the joy of embracing one’s child as they are. The Neurodiversity Movement teaches us that autism is a natural difference in brain wiring that has existed since time began. We can support our children’s struggles while still affirming their core selves with compassion, acceptance, and possibility.
I work with individual parents and couples from a neurodiversity-affirming framework to bring them together around their shared love of their child. Ideally, parents will connect to the joy of parenting and imagine a journey where their children can thrive.