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Saturday, July 12, 2014

No M&M's for breakfast

It is understood that two year olds know everything and must perform any and all acts on his or her own term.  Just picture one who can't see a lick, but insists, nevertheless, on navigating his own world without the help of others.  Yes, this is the stage we find ourselves with Jude these days.

When I hoped and prayed for a normal life for our Jude, I must have forgotten that this too would include the terrible and tantrum-filled year of the two's.  These are the years that are among the most trying we've experienced with any of our children.  The constant and unpredictable battles test the patience of the best and prove bedtime can not come soon enough.

During this period the tasks and objectives for a parent must remain steadfast, nevertheless; equip one's child with the appropriate tools for successful independence.  Giving in to each and every tantrum's aim, surely won't help in this effort.  And, if anything, saying "no" to a developing child is among the earliest, most important lessons one can ever be taught.

Jude, through his blindness, is no different.  As special needs parents, our aim is no different either.  We need to equip Jude with tools to successfully live independently- in every way.  So, although it's a great step forward that Jude is able to communicate his wants and needs, it's another thing entirely to let him have M&M's for breakfast simply because he expressed a desire successfully.

How easy it could be to overlook social and developmental blunders or faux pas due to earnest attempts to work through Jude's blindness.  If we focus simply on the visual impairments or limitations, we limit his abilities to blossom as a full person.  I can't tell you how grateful we are to have some wonderful therapists in our lives through the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired reminding us of this task at each turn.

St. Jude: Pray for us.