special need child

Exceptional Families with Exceptional Kids

by Christopher Auer

The Nobel Prize for Parents and Families with Disabled Children

This past weekend, nine Nobel Peace Prize winners gathered in Denver to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Peace Jam (www.peacejam.org). A tenth Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, provided a video interview, but could not attend due to being under house arrest in Burma since 1989.

The Executive Director of my office was able to spend the entire weekend with these Laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tuto, the Dalai Lama, and Jody Williams – whose efforts led to an international treaty to ban the use of landmines. Our Director recounted her weekend at our staff meeting on Monday. Through her description, I felt as though I had been there with her. I was in awe. Imagine being embraced by the Archbishop, or being blessed by the Dalai Lama.

Yet, it wasn’t the stories that captivated my heart; it was the ice breaker question she asked each of us, “What does Peace mean to you?” I felt shaken. The answer was easy. I explained the story of my oldest brother – that he was recommended for placement in the state mental institution at the age of 2 or 3. I also told of his outcome, that he graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s degree after ten years of persistence and was now living independently, with a decent job. I also shared that many times, I felt absolutely embarrassed to be with him in public, and at the same time wanting to destroy those that tormented him.

Peace to me meant the few times in my life when someone has absolutely, unconditionally accepted my brother for who he is. This has happened only several times. When it happens though, I am astounded. I feel deeply humbled; these people are better human beings than I. I can’t describe the experience other than to say that it’s overpowering, and at that moment I can see the true potential of humanity. What is even more remarkable is these few people have accepted my brother not for any recognition, and their acceptance doesn’t come from any statement. It’s their attitude and demeanor and sense of calm themselves.

What does this have to do with parents and families? We too grow to accept our children for who they are – not for any reward or recognition. Through our acceptance, we are able to model the potential of humanity for others. Like the Nobel Laureates, our actions stem from a responsibility for the world, for our children, and for what is right. It’s what we are called to do. I think there should be a new category of Nobel Prize; one for parents and families with special needs children, to be shared by all each and every year.

Look for Chris’ New Book –

special need child
Parenting a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder: A Family Guide to Understanding and Supporting Your Sensory-Sensitive Child

Parenting a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder: A Family Guide to Understanding and Supporting Your Sensory-Sensitive Child (Christopher Auer, MA with Susan L.Blumberg, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, December 2006) www.newharbinger.com

 

Christopher Auer

Christopher R. Auer is the Board President of the KID (Knowledge in Development) Foundation, founded by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D.,OTR and was appointed by the Governor of Colorado to the Interagency Coordinating Council , which oversees disability services to children birth to three throughout the state. He is the parent of three incredible children, one of whom is diagnosed with ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. Chris is also a sibling to person with an autistic spectrum disorder.
https://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2018/11/family-1024x459.jpghttps://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2018/11/family-150x150.jpgChristopher AuerParentingParenting  Exceptional Families with Exceptional Kids by Christopher Auer The Nobel Prize for Parents and Families with Disabled Children This past weekend, nine Nobel Peace Prize winners gathered in Denver to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Peace Jam (www.peacejam.org). A tenth Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, provided a video interview, but could...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids