When my daughter was born, from the very beginning, I was told by doctors, therapists, and teachers about the things my daughter would never do.
They said she would never roll over. She would never understand a spoken word or walk. She would never feed herself.
These professionals weren’t being cruel and were speaking about what they knew. These people were speaking about what they see every day. They were looking at the medical diagnoses and making an educated guess at what the future would hold for my daughter.
But she wasn’t even a year old. And they hardly knew her.
They did not know that my daughter was a fighter. They did not know that she would work so hard in therapy that each session would leave her dripping with sweat. They did not know the level of determination my daughter had. They did not know that my daughter had some surprises up her sleeve.
They did not know the amazing therapists that would devote themselves to my daughter. Or that those therapists would think out of the box and push her to new levels.
In the end, my daughter surprised them all. She did roll over. And she walked. She did understand the spoken word. In fact, she understands every word she hears. She types. She writes. She dances. She cheers. She plays an instrument. She laughs. She swims. She hugs. She surfs YouTube. She shops on eBay.
As a parent, there are times when it is important for me to listen and learn from the professionals who work with my daughter. But there are other times I need to realize that they don’t know it all. They will not be writing my daughter’s story.
She’s writing her own story. And she’s a darn good author.
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.