How to Find Your Special Child’s Spark?
How to find your special child’s spark?
Before you read any more of this article, take a moment and think of one that you really love to do. Now ask yourself:
- When did you start liking this?
- What did you do to help yourself grow this interest?
- Did you have help?
- And if so, who helped you?
This thing is what we call a spark…a sense of excitement or intense feeling.
Most everyone has one.
We might have found it when in ourselves when we were young and fostered it through teams and competition or groups and activities or maybe it came from simply reading about something our interest grew to know more.
But for those with special needs finding that spark can be challenging because of health, mobility or developmental issues. I know for us, we could see how much Elizabeth liked to cook and work with children, so we have grown her interests through volunteering and internship opportunities. But how did others find their spark?
I took some time to talk to two moms who have children with special needs to ask about their child’s spark. Lori is a mom to 4 children and is an active advocate for those with special needs since the birth of her youngest, Andrea, 26, who has Down’s Syndrome. Diane is a mom of 4 and her son, Stuart age 22 has Autism.
When I asked how they found their child’s spark, Lori told me that Andrea showed a love of being on stage after being encouraged to take acting classes with her brother. She was in elementary school at the time and “it was during this time that we realized that she enjoyed being in the spotlight” To this day, Andrea is a part of community theatre. The spark was found!
Diane tells a bit of a different story, for her, it was a neighbor who mentioned a local basketball program he was coaching. It was his encouragement that helped Diane find the spark for her son. “I actually wrote a note to this coach to thank him for this opportunity and all the good things playing on the team brought.”
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