Three years ago I took my then three year old son to the library with me as I researched different books for a paper I did on content literacy. The premise of my study was that as literacy instruction is integrated into the content areas, students’ would have the opportunity to be enveloped in a literacy rich environment that would meet them at their own individual needs. I took Chase, because I wanted to steep him in a literacy rich environment. It didn’t quite go as planned. As I looked up books I thought my little guy would be content looking at books. He does at home. Why not at the library? What I didn’t know was that maybe he was overstimulated by the amount of books, and the change in environment. He ran around making train sounds at the top of his voice. I would shush him and he would settle down for a few seconds and then start again. I felt helpless, but I HAD to get my research done.
I thought I just had a noncomplient kid and I did feel like a horrible parent. About that same time I had a conversation with my sister about a book called What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell you. by Douglas A. Riley. I still haven’t gotten the book. I really need to order it from the library, anyway back to my story. I went to the bookstore in search of this book, but they didn’t have it. They did have Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder by Lucy Jane Miller. I pulled out Miller’s book – headed for the seat next to the train table and an hour later had read the first couple of chapters and skimmed through the first fourth of the book, taking notes as I went along. What I got most from that reading session was her view on personal validation!!!!!! Let me repeat PERSONAL VALIDATION!
I’m learning that it isn’t a dirty word, and that I shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. It is a blessing to know that my concerns for my son are valid. I want to know that it is okay to want others to recognize that my son has REAL difficulties and problems and that I am not a bad parent. I am so thankful that I have a diagnosis, that when my son turns into a steam locomotive that is my signal to smile, and gently guide him to a quiet corner where he can toot and holler all he wants. I am not a bad parent, and my kid is not a bad kid! WHAT GREAT VALIDATION.