Pearls of Wisdom

postive coaching



“We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose, and challenge us to become the best version of ourselves.” 


I think that some of the best advice and news about different programs that I didn’t have any idea about have come from random moments, accidental encounters where someone suddenly just says, “have you heard about….?”   Those are my “pearls of wisdom.”


What about the unwelcome not so helpful or tactful “pearls of wisdom?”  You know  when well meaning professionals offer you advice that doesn’t sound like it applies to your child? I try and offer an observation about Johnny to see if I can get a golden nugget of information but instead the professional insists its the way it is because they have seen it so many time before.   I find myself getting frustrated because like the saying says, “if you have met one child with Autism you have met only one child with Autism.”  I find that so many professionals are so stuck in one way of thinking when it comes to Autism.   I hope that by me sharing something unexpected with Johnny  it will enlighten them, change expectations and maybe lead to an actionable “pearl of wisdom.”


Another thing that happens is when someone knows that Johnny has Autism and they go to see him with preconceived notions and expectations about him.  They then later want to share their surprise that he is displaying competence in something.  I worry about Autism defining him before he can show who he is.  I am then reminded of a conversation with my husband’s Aunt who counselled us on how sometimes labels can hold a child back.   We had gone into this thinking that the more professionals knew then the more help would be offered.  I have found the most progress happens when we have an open relationship with the professional whether it’s a therapist or teacher and we feel like we are a team.  Open minds leads to the best forward thinking progress and Johnny feeling like working hard.  This leads to “pearls of wisdom.”


But what happens if your opinion as a parent is not held as being important or inconsequential?  The professional knows better syndrome even though the professional only sees your child for a set number hours a week but you are there for many many more.  In the end the best partner are the parents because after all the therapy the follow through happens at home.   At the beginning when we didn’t know as much we would feel uncomfortable and frustrated and worried that we might compromise Johnny’s progress.   Then we started really looking Johnny and seeing how he wasn’t our happy boy and was giving us more and more behavioural challenges at home.  We would mention this to the professionals because we thought therapy would help not give us more problems.  We were told the “pearl of wisdom”  that it always gets worse before it gets better and we are challenging him so yes behavioural and sleeping challenges will rise.  At some point we realized that this was not a “pearl of wisdom” that gave us forward momentum.  We know our son and he has to be happy to be motivated to learn and step out of his comfort zone.   So I would say we have learned how to pick and sift through the “pearls of wisdom.”


More and more I wonder how my son feels when he is dealing with different professionals at school or other places and I am not there to process what they are saying or their motives.    Do they all presume competence?   Do they first baby him and then if he kind of just sits there or answer right away do they make lower expectations?   If he doesn’t make eye contact do they think that they have a lot of work to do?  My son told me a few months ago:


“Mommy I don’t like it when she says quiet hands.  I like to move my hands.  It helps me think and does not stop me from doing. ”


What is hard is Johnny has motor speech delay and he is going through intensive therapy to get his mouth, tongue and jaw to move to produce sounds more clearly week to week.   The  therapist believes that the hard work he has to do to produce sounds she is trying to help him by minimizing what he has to concentrate on doing.  I have helped her see a compromise that between her coaching him to produce a sounds let him have his movement break of moving his hands.   For Johnny, she has accepted this “pearl of wisdom” and he is making incredible progress.


The next one to tackle for the next school year and the new teacher is eye contact.   As Johnny says, “I listen with my ears Mommy not my eyes.”


That is Johnny’s “pearl of wisdom.”



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