You Are Doing It Right -- You're Just Not Done Yet

by J T
(Boston, MA)


I just read your story and the rest of my story. It is so much like my story. My son was diagnosed ADHD, and also sensory integration, NVLD, and dyslexic. What I wanted to say is that your daughter will end up being better than you realize right now. At 12 my son still exhibited a lot of strange behaviors that lingered. The spatial issue -- getting too close to people -- and the non-verbal cue issue -- not reading when people were mad at him -- we still there, along with the avoidance of cleaning his fingernails, cutting his toenails and fingernails, etc.

He is now 20 and says that it takes him an hour to cut his toenails. I honestly had to make my ex-husband hold him and cut his nails because he was so afraid of it with me. He needed alot of stim so being held tightly by his dad in a firm almost like a hug was actually comforting.

Anyway at 12 he was still a little 'messy'. But by 15 he started to come together. He had therapists that he never wanted to really talk to in front of us but who I think helped him when we weren't in the room, and he had a social group which helped him to learn which behaviors of his were annoying and how not to do them, and we constantly as a family played charades. Kind of like the drama club for your daughter, it is such a good thing for kids like this to do. They need to actively model behavior because in a sense they have to teach themselves how to act 'normal' and drama, stuff like that is terrific for it.

I hear so much guilt in your voice and I can tell that the world has beaten you down and tried to blame you for your daughter's condition. It sounds like you made a good decision letting her go w/her dad because she was clinging so badly to you. I had the same situation, and my son actually lived w/his dad for a year and it was really painful for all of us but he had to realize that he could do certain things on his own. he was only 7 which pains me to admit this, but I needed a year off because I literally had not slept in 7 years because he was such a bad sleeper.

So you may think your daughter didn't get enough treatment but treatment isn't over yet. Everyday life is treatment. She is getting help. And she will mature. You are a support to her, and you are a better support if you can let go of some of the worry and the guilt that you are holding onto over this.

You were handed this baby, and like Paddington Bear, she had a very specific set of instructions. However, like me, God didn't hand you the instructions. He actually had to let us find out those instructions on our own.

That is not a lot in life that I would have chosen. My son is now 20, in college and still has struggles but if you were to meet him you would never detect the stuff that was still lingering when he was 12/13/14.

I hope that you understand how very very much you have done for your daughter, and that you continue to do for her and all of us, and take a moment to look at all the progress that you HAVE made, rather than what still needs to be done.

We are all still working on the checklist of things to be done. God, I never thought my kid would be able to cut his toenails by himself. Last summer he was a camp counselor at a camp in Maine, ran the sailing and skateboarding programs and was absolutely loved by the campers and the leaders of the camp. They asked him to come back next summer. If anyone has empathy for other human beings it is my kid. He has known very real pain and very real loneliness, and he has overcome.

Go, and let your daughter work on her obstacles. Be there as her supportive mom. You are her backbone, you know, even when you are not there. She knows you are there with her. Don't feel so bad about it. She has to learn stuff, and it's much harder for us moms to separate from those kinds of kids than from other kids.

From one mom to another, I can feel your mother-love and caring for your child pouring out of every word on this website. And from one mom to another, I can assure you, you are doing a good job.

God only gives us what we can handle. Well, just imagine what you'll tackle once your daughter is raised and grown!!

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Jan 04, 2009
thanks to you
by: Anonymous


From a mom of a 12 year old girl with SPD, It has been my biggest struggle in life,my thoughts were always on what can I do to fix it. You said it wonderful and as many people that I have worked with and seeked support from, you said it and it made sense thank you!

I am just not done yet. It is not my wrong doing ,it is not what I do wrong and it is teaching her to be the best she can and to use her abilities. I will seek learning and teaching as hope she learns coping skills. This is her and and all the guilt in the world wont fix this.

I cry to acknowledge the fact that for all these years i was not accepting but trying to fix. All the worry that my parenting skills were wrong for her and I must do something different. All the sadness that felt thinking why is she not getting it. I will now focus on her.

I will try to stop the guilt ...THANKS SO MUCH FOR WRITING IT THE WAY YOU DID

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