Use My Voice

Speaking up about the issues I can't get out of my head or heart.

Quieting The Questions

on July 2, 2012

As a parent of a child with special needs you spend a lot of time asking your self questions and questioning yourself. “Are we doing the right therapies?”  “Are we doing enough or too much therapy?”  “Will my child ever learn the skill they are working on?” “When do I push harder?” ” When do I pull back?”  And yes the big one, ” If I was a better parent would he be further along?”

Sometimes these questions are all around you at once. Sometimes these questions go away for a period of time when your child seems to be functioning  closer to the level of a “typical child” his age. Then they come back again, usually out of nowhere. Thus is the life of parenting a child with special needs.

However sometimes you get an answer out of nowhere too. You aren’t expecting it. It just comes, you see a progression you had long since given up on (all though you would never tell anyone that). They do something you really never thought they would.  These are the moments of joy you cling to when the questions fill your head and keep you up at night.

We had one of those moments last night. For whatever reason coloring has always been one of those skills that has eluded my oldest. Be it his sever ADHD that makes him struggle to concentrate long enough to finish something. Maybe it is his serious fine motor delay that makes the activity seem so unmanageable. Or maybe the visual processing disorder that makes it hard in his head to understand where the lines are and make sense of what it is he suppose to color. It is probably a combination of the three.  I can honestly tell you before last night I can not ever remember my child coloring a complete picture.  He would have considered it an act of torture.

Last night though something clicked.  He came upstairs and asked where we keep the crayons. “I’m coloring you a picture” he said. I set aside my shock and hand him the crayons. I invited him to sit upstairs with me and he did.  For the next hour and a half I pretended to watch The Olympic Trials but really watched him. I fought back tears. I resisted the urge to hold him. I let him work.  He would stop every few minutes to see if I liked it or to ask what color I thought something should. He worked for almost two hours in a zone I usually only see him in playing legos, with his best friend or when he is playing outside. I could see his pride grow withe each of part of the picture he finished. I will never forget the look on his face when he finished. I am not allowed to take the picture out of the book because it might mess the book up. So I suppose I will have to keep the whole book forever, and I will, because at 10:00 my questions were quiet.

Noah’s picture

Click above to see his masterpiece. You can find the book this picture is from here:


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