Ten years ago, I was a parent of two children, both bright witty and engaging (obviously). A boy and a girl.
I was also a Professional, a Speech and Language Therapist, I liked Science, investigation and finding answers.
Oh I was a wife as well (still am in fact, apologies Mr Pearlie J)
A control freak, sometime depressive, a Church goer and Christian. A book mad, self deprecating, film loving stereotype. Not very house proud (no change there).
Living in a house of loud opinionated people suited me pretty well, but one amongst us felt the family just wasn’t finished, and as we are both the youngest of three we set to, to complete it.
I’ve worked with various types of acquired and developmental disorders in my job. I never automatically assumed that our children would be perfect, but having produced two who seemed just fine, was fairly laid back about this one.
Besides special children did not happen to people like me. There were none in my circle of friends. When I did see parents of these children they seemed patient, able to cope, well organised. They’d probably chosen, or been chosen, for this path in some mystical way. Also there weren’t that many children like that out there.
Naivety has been an abiding part of my life, a constant course of hilarity amongst my nearest and dearest. I am in fact the person who believed the word gullible had been taken out of the dictionary. I had given birth to a Pearl of a girl at home, with no pain relief (look on my deeds you mighty and despair). Perfect. I had well and truly nailed this parenting lark.
At this point I will introduce you to Pearl. In a family of leaders she is noisy, self assured and communicative. Oh and nonverbal. Did I mention nonverbal? She communicates by pointing, shouting “yeah” or shaking her head and by signing biscuit. Or cake. She shamelessly uses charm, persistence and leadership skills (not bullying obviously) to bend the world around her to her will. Pearl is 9, she dribbles profusely, has learning difficulties. is still in nappies, can’t dress or care for herself, and although she can walk has significant mobility issues and uses a wheelchair or K walker. She has changed everything.
Oh and somebody forgot to tell her she was disabled.
If you have a mind to, stick around and I’ll tell you what we’ve learnt , how to succeed in parenting (hollow laugh) and how to remove chocolate from a wide variety of surfaces.
You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll hurl .No? Just me then.
Incidentally we have no diagnosis. Just the wrong kind of snow changing our travel plans.