Over the years we have seen a lot of ‘experts’. Some of the advice has been helpful and some has been downright dangerous.
Just because a person has the title health visitor, doctor, teacher, educational psychologist it doesn’t mean they’re right all of the time.
If the advice doesn’t feel right for your child then question it.
I’m saying this as a parent and as a teacher of over 20 years.
I’ve heard some shocking advice over the years!
Bad Advice Number 1
Your child will eat when he’s hungry 😡
Adam was only eating mashed up and runny food when he started school. He never chewed. He swallowed things whole.
The advice was to make him a piece of toast and don’t offer him anything else. He’ll eat it because he’s hungry 🙈.
No, he cried himself to sleep instead.
After a few years of practically begging for help we were invited to a sensory play workshop that involved Adam playing with food.
Adam wasn’t eating solid food because he didn’t like the texture on his hands. After a few weeks of playing with foods like rice, bread, squirty cream, he eventually picked some up and put it in his mouth. This progressed to eating toast and now there’s no stopping him. If we’d followed the original advice Adam would still be eating baby food at 14.
Bad Advice Number 2
Having a meltdown doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your child. He’s autistic. Autistic children have meltdowns.
At this point Adam was rolling around on the bed screaming. I was absolutely convinced he was in pain and felt helpless but apparently this is just part of autism 😡
No, Adam was having a bad reaction to the antibiotics he’d been prescribed for his tonsillitis. They were causing him to have agonising stomach pains. A change of antibiotics and he was back to his normal, happy self.
Personally I believe there’s always a cause for a meltdown. It just takes a while to work out what it is.
Bad Advice Number 3
Why would you want to send your child to a mainstream school? It’s cruel, he’s going to be bullied.
Should I lock my son away instead? Should we all hide away in case someone bullies us. Bullying can happen to anyone at any age.
For those of you who know Adam you will know how happy he is in mainstream school. It’s not the right choice for every child but I knew it was right for Adam. He’s probably the happiest child in his school.
I’m sharing this because I’ve seen so many parents being told what to do by people with a title.
It’s your child. Do what you feel is right. Use your instinct. If you get it wrong try something new.
Listen to the advice. A lot of it will help. Just don’t be afraid to question it.
No one knows your child better than you!
Rachael Barnes – Confidence and Self Worth Coach. Follow our journey with Adam on Facebook here.