Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

Planting a Seed, Cultivating a Dream

hydrangeaA garden is a striking similarity of the variation on a theme that is autism. Every spring, like clockwork, my crocuses are the first to greet me. The same beautiful buttery yellow bursts from the frozen ground in a stark contrast to the bleakness surrounding it. I wait and wonder when they will emerge, anticipating their soft petals and joyfully green foliage. Their genes hold tight to their expression, and they are impervious to change…no matter the soil content, length of seasons, or toiled ground, they remain the same cheerful yellow year after year. My sweet hydrangeas though, they are deeply affected by change. Some years, the blooms are deep violet, with long ribbons of almost black running through the petals. Other years, the plants make a big show of alternating magenta and bright baby blue blooms on the very same bush. My alterations to the soil and the coldness of the winter will affect them, and I can usually tell what is going on inside the plant based on how it expresses itself.

Such is the case with autism. Many parents feel their child’s genes just are the way they are, defining them as a beautiful enigma, charmingly unique yet steady through the years. Many parents, however, feel their child’s body is sensitive to changes in the environment or by what they intake…they must carefully control or change the child’s inner workings in order to help the child express his most true self.

But we would never tell a gardener that they must treat their hydrangeas like crocuses, nor their crocuses like hydrangeas. What works for one dazzling flower will not work for another. As the seasoned care takers of our children, we know best what will help them to thrive, what won’t, and usually, we know what to expect when they are tended to in a certain way.

Why continue fighting over our children’s unique autism type and their treatment? We are the gardeners, knowledgeable about our own garden only. If we spend too much time neglecting the garden we are guardians of, dallying in other time wasting activities (such as arguing over the fence), the flowers suffer. Instead, lets share our experiences with fellow caretakers, offering helpful advice where warranted and simply a high-five or hug when it is not. Our children need us to come together, as a united community, speaking out collectively for their beauty and uniqueness and individual needs. And here at Military Special Needs Network, we intend on doing just that. Over the next week, we will be spotlighting different methods of treatment and therapy for a multitude of disabilities. The goal is to bring us all a little closer, to help to mend any fences, and hopefully, inspire everyone to lay down their arms and lift each other up in advocacy.

Jessica_stars

One comment on “Planting a Seed, Cultivating a Dream

  1. Pingback: Planting a Seed, Cultivating a Dream | The Journey of a Thousand Sticks

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