Chapter 8: Wisdom from the Circle
“In my experience, however, the mot valuable, useful, and empowering wisdom often comes from other parents, mothers and fathers who have already been down this path. Over the years these parents and their children have been my best teachers, and their messages continue to inform my work and my understanding of autism” (156).
Prizant is talking about a retreat that he attends each year with parents of children with autism. He began this retreat for parents who needed a community that would support them and understand what it’s like to raise a child with autism.
“The best predictor of emotionally healthy children is having highly responsive caregivers” (157).
“When I reassure the parent that her own hunch is probably correct, the inevitable reply is “That’s what I thought, but my therapist (or doctor or teacher) disagreed.” Trust your gut” (159).
“When there is a good match, the best community is the one that offers companionship, understanding without judgment, and support without needless criticism” (161).
“It is also essential to seek out those who pursue and find the positive along the way” (161).
This is applicable not only to finding people and a community for those parents that have a child with autism. This is relevant to anyone on a difficult journey, and just in general. Surround yourself with people who support you and help you to see the silver lining in whatever tough situation you might be encountering.
“Faith can take many forms. […] But the parents I know who cope the best are those who find a way to have faith and trust” (163).
“The common factor is hope. The poet Maya Angelou once said, “In order to survive, and human being needs to live in a place furnished with hope”” (164).
Prizant talks about being hopeful about how a child with autism will develop and make progress. He also mentions to be realistic, but the important take away here is that hope will only benefit you and your child in their life journey despite their diagnosis of autism.
“Here’s the essential thing: Keep the child front and center” (166).
“One of the most common bits of advice more experienced parents share with newer ones is this: Pick your battles” (167).
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post and read my upcoming posts on Uniquely Human by Barry Prizant! 🙂 ❤
Prizant, B. (2015). Uniquely human: A different way of seeing autism. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
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