Many times I go to a function to refuel only to be emptied. My calling in life is simple and clear, to minister, to guide and comfort others within the ministry God has birth within me. No, I am not a preacher or a pastor. Nor I am not standing on stages before thousands of people. As any well-known speaker, preacher or pastor would say to you, we all need to replenishments. Many haves quoted “You can’t give others what you don’t have within you give.” Not to sound over clinches “Cars can’t run on an empty tank and neither can humans. ”
Why do I say this?
In a novel of one of my favorite lines referring how an advocate cannot find an advocate for themselves. That was how I felt when it came down to trying to receive help for my youngest child or other obstacles that seem to hinder and hold me back. Unlike when I first found myself with a newborn child who wasn’t meeting his milestones on target and many around me held their knowledge silent from shame or misperceptions or ignorance, this situation is different. I am referring to being unable to find someone who can 1) guide me in a direction I haven’t traveled earlier; 2) someone who I can share my concerns whose advice goes beyond the professional advice with no life experience 3) being surrounded by others who not only get the strange and peculiar behaviors and incidents that make up my life but lives with similar activities within their own lives.
I have learned to listen to well meaning educated advice and separate what will work from that which won’t. I understand and embrace that in the world’s sphere of special needs, I will forever be a student and will never obtain total knowledge. But then there’re times I want to be a participant gleaming information and insight to answers of my inquiries and quest.
In an email to parents of children with special needs, I stumbled across a website I never knew existed. On whose name intrigued me to seek further understanding of their purpose. What I uncovered was a total philosophy I never knew existed, yet has been around for many years. A philosophy that perfectly describes a child that on one hand described as wise beyond their years and yet a visiting alien body snatcher.Though I exaggerate, you get my point, our children whose social-emotional deficits outshines their giftedness in academia and the arts. A category that is a mixed bag of issues to wade through in developing a curriculum in and out of school to teach and mature each child. Just as it said for children diagnosed to have Dyslexia or ASD, there not just one form or characteristic for a child of this nature.
What is this categorization?
Twice Exceptional (2E) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twice_exceptional]
The term twice exceptional often abbreviated as 2e, has only recently entered educators’ lexicon and refers to intellectually gifted children who have some form of disability. These children are considered exceptional both because of their intellectual gifts and because of their special needs.
A 2e child usually refers to a child who, alongside being considered intellectually above average, is formally diagnosed with one or more disabilities. The disabilities are varied: dyslexia, visual or auditory processing disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sensory processing disorder, autism, Asperger syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, or any other disability interfering with the student’s ability to learn effectively in a traditional environment. The child might have a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or diagnoses of anxiety or depression.
There is no clear-cut profile of twice-exceptional children because the nature and causes of twice exceptionality are so varied. This variation among twice-exceptional children makes it difficult to determine just how many of them there might be. Best estimates of prevalence range from 300,000 to 360,000 in the U.S. (on the order of 0.5% of the total number of children under 18). Linda Silverman, Ph.D., the director of the Gifted Development Center has found that fully 1/6 of the gifted children tested at the GDC have a learning difference of some type.
How does this understanding give room for me to breathe?
The particular website I stumbled by was Twice Exceptional Children’s Advocacy (https://www.teca2e.org/). So I called the office to find out more information. Within minutes of calling, I receive a callback and formed a new connection. Over an hour later, I realized I found a group moms that understand my plight in caring and raising my son. A plight that differs totally from the learning curve with my first born. Within this organization, they created a support group in yahoo groups and a web base support group where we can come together from the comfort of our home and share our insights, struggles, joys and accomplishments. This web base format gives moms the chance to come out of isolation many parents face and form a connection that otherwise would be impossible to happen because of the unique nature of our children unpredictable and explosive behaviors. It allowed us to meet other moms that not only give lip service to understanding our plight but are warriors alongside us in our plight for understanding, stability, and normalcy. A place where we can share techniques, struggles, and receive insight and subjective instructions in how to manage varies challenges. The group comprises licensed clinicians to executive directors to stay at home moms who each as a 2e child of their own anywhere from elementary to an adult.
Finding a place to feed and be heard is priceless. A place that fully understands your issues because they themselves are or has walked in your shoes is priceless. To understand that you aren’t alone, that you aren’t strange, and have clarity why your child is wired the way they are wired is awesome. #BeautifullVillageInc. @BeautifulVilInc