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.
I don’t think there is a word more laden with negativity than the descriptor, “lazy.” As a culture, we are allergic to that word. And I have to admit that when I am beating myself up about the way I parent my son with autism, that is a word that comes to mind. But...read more
I’ve been preoccupied lately (some would say obsessed) with thoughts about my son’s future. In six short years, he will be 21, an age that strikes terror into the heart of anyone who has a child with special needs. Services like physical and speech therapy, and...read more
About ten years ago, I had the opportunity to hear a speech by Temple Grandin, an icon in the world of autism. She holds a Ph.D., and is an expert in animal behavior, as well as an advocate for those on the spectrum. I don’t remember details from her talk, but one...read more
Recently, I got a text message from my daughter, who was away at college. She told me that she was listening to a panel of young adults with Asperger’s syndrome discuss their relationships with their families. She heard them express some resentment towards their...read more
What is it about worry and the middle of the night? I am a fairly frequent visitor to what a friend calls 3 a.m. meetings. I don’t recommend them and you should consider yourself lucky if you are not familiar with them. A troublesome thought will come to me, usually...read more
Grandparents can truly be the unsung heroes for parents who have a child with special needs.read more
I realize that when I am not in a place of equanimity, my vision and perspective are distorted. I miss really seeing my son, and learning what his behavior is trying to teach me.read more
Every spring, I resolve to get rid of clutter: kitchen utensils we no longer use, clothes that don’t fit my kids anymore, old toys, catalogues…all of that stuff that only serves to get in the way of finding everything else. When I take some action, I am always amazed...read more
As my son grows older, that omnipresent symbol of autism, the puzzle piece, seems ever more appropriate. The word “puzzle” becomes both noun and adjective, suggesting not only the questions, but also the sense of uncertainty, and even outright frustration, for those...read more
It’s summer and the weather is glorious. The season conjures up the quintessential images of relaxation, such as lying in a hammock with a cool drink at arm’s length. But just try to pair that picture with a couple of rambunctious kids running around, and you see...read more
I just made my go-to eggplant recipe, given to me by an old friend. Here it is: 1. Buy beautiful purple eggplant in store. 2. Place eggplant in refrigerator. 3. Find eggplant a month later when it is brown and withered. 4. Throw eggplant away. As you might have...read more
We just had another blast of winter and school is closed again. My kids are ecstatic. I am a little less enthusiastic. To be honest, winter is not one of my favorite seasons. The cold and darkness can easily dissolve my motivation to get up as early as I’d like in...read more