There is no worse feeling that being a in a medical clinic and hearing them say “your child has a lifelong developmental disorder”. The tears start and they feel as though they will never stop.

Over time, you get to understand the nuances of your child. What they enjoy, what they dislike, what they need support in doing and what they are great at. Changes and progress will inevitably occur but the rate and frequency may differ from typically developing children.

My 12-year-old is learning how to put his shoes and socks on and tie his own shoelaces, we are developing his skills in this area slowly by using a backwards chaining process whereby he masters the last skill first.

My other two children learnt these skills in a short period of time, it is a distance memory and one where I have trouble even pinpointing when it occurred. However, when Charlie masters each step of many in the process of putting on shoes and socks, there is a huge celebration in our house. We have recalibrated our interpretation of expectation and excitement. Charlie will grow, learn, work and love; all at times that are suitable for him and done in a way that suits his needs. We can’t wait to see these things happen….. we just need to be patient.

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