Psychotherapy for resilience and wellbeing
A resource for parents and grandparents of children with special needs
When we become parents, we give birth to all sorts of expectations. We expect our children to go through predictable developmental stages and become increasingly more self-sufficient. We expect that parenting will involve a lot of hard work and self-sacrifice, but knowing “what to expect” will give us some comfort in our journey.
Learning that your child has special needs is like putting a pin into this bubble of expectations.
Many of us feel shock, disappointment and fear. We have doubts about our skill as parents. Our relationships with our partners and with our other children can become more strained. We might isolate ourselves from other parents, because we feel that they can’t really appreciate what we’re going through. We have even less time for ourselves.
Surviving and Thriving puts the focus on you, the parent, because when you are thriving, your children will benefit as well. We invite you to find support and inspiration in our workshops and support groups. We also provide coaching as well as individual and couples therapy with the understanding that, to really help your family, you need to put a premium on taking care of yourself.
Recognizing ambivalent loss and making way for compassion The other day I took my son, Noah, over to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get his picture taken for a new ID card. It is no one’s idea of a good time, but we had the day off and it was something that...read more
When my son was diagnosed with autism around the age of two, it was as if the ground underneath me had suddenly shifted and wasn’t so solid anymore. I was struggling to understand what the diagnosis meant, and it was agonizing to see my son plateauing and even...read more
I was recently talking to someone about my son, Noah, who has autism. And at the end of our conversation, she said, "He is the best teacher you could ever have." I am still learning all the ways that this is true. Noah is constantly helping me recognize how limited...read more
I am no stranger to the stress that comes hand in hand with parenting a child on the autism spectrum. After 19 years of parenting my son, I've become better at knowing when stress has the upper hand and I need to take care of myself. This doesn't mean that I manage...read more
I don’t think of myself as a glass-half-empty kind of person, but I have to admit that when my mind is free to wander, it is usually occupied with what is wrong. As the parent of a son with autism, I find I have lots of material. These days, I am trying to have...read more
A friend of mine was taking her teenage daughter to the doctor—and running very late. With her daughter in the seat beside her, my friend was in full road-rage mode, clutching the wheel like a madwoman, cursing at other drivers, garbage trucks and slow traffic...read more
I’m in line in the supermarket, leafing through a magazine, and I see an advertisement for something I just have to have. It is the newest coffeemaker, one that makes espresso with more steam pressure than a locomotive. And suddenly, the reliable coffeemaker I have...read more
As the parent of a 17-year-old with autism, I have four more years before being faced with The Cliff. The cliff is a time of reckoning for many families who have a child on the autism spectrum. You come to this cliff when your child turns 21, and he or she ages out...read more
When it comes to my son, who has autism spectrum disorder, I feel like I’m always navigating two paths simultaneously. On the one hand, I’m in project mode, eager to help him learn new skills. But when I am overly attached to therapy goals, I risk treating my son...read more
I was having dinner with a friend who came in from out of town, and he described a harrowing experience at the airport. It seems my friend had somehow taken his wife’s license instead of his own to security. Fortunately, he was able to explain how he got the wrong...read more
With January just beginning, my thoughts turn to the clean canvas of a new year and ways I can make 2015 even better than the year that has just passed. My resolutions, especially when it comes to being the mother of a child with autism, usually stem from a place of...read more
A few years after my son was diagnosed with autism, and I was in the thick of his early intervention treatment, his behavior therapist said something to me that still brings tears of gratitude to my eyes. I had taken my son to her office, the first appointment of...read more