Celebrating Our Children’s Independence

(originally posted in our newsletter 7/4/2014)

One of the values we hold dear at Child Development Partners is to support children to understand and celebrate their strengths, work on the things that are hard without shame and, ultimately, become independent young adults to the best of their abilities.

One of the reasons we love working with children and teens with ADHD, autism and other neurodevelopmental differences is they always march to the beat of their own drum. All of our clients over the years have been witty, charming, insightful, creative and uncannily perceptive in their own unique way. They constantly remind us to keep an open mind, see the glass half full,  that one size never fits all, and that  EVERYONE has the ability and power to grow, learn and contribute to the world.

Our culture has a way of focusing on what our kids can’t do, rather than support all of the amazing things they CAN do. Part of our mission is the change that focus and shift the conversation. Because no one can succeed when they only know their limitations and rarely see their gifts recognized.

As we celebrate Independence Day on this July 4th weekend in the USA, please remember that your child has what it takes to be as independent as they can be. Their behavior, words and emotions may not look like what’s expected or “typical” or deemed always the right thing at the right time. And they may need more time to fully grasp the big picture. Or maybe they can’t see the big picture, but are willing to try new ways to communicate and advocate for support. All of those are strategies and ways s/he can become independent.

We know parenting unique children can be a challenge. We also know that unique kids bring us special joys and gifts. Many of the world’s greatest inventions and art were/are created by folks who are quirky in some way. The world needs your child’s independent, off-the-beaten-path perspective. Because they look at and process the world from a different angle, they see things many of us can’t see and show us solutions and beauty overlooked.

So here’s the freedom of expression, freedom to be unique, freedom to be given the chance to learn new ways to process all the information the world throws our way.

We know our kids can do great things with supportive guidance and opportunities to demonstrate their genius. (No fireworks required.)