I quickly discovered she has a child on the spectrum. A comment she made struck me.
She simply said, "I hate parenting books." I knew immediately what she meant!
Parenting books describe ways to mold typical children. The problem is, however, that children with hidden disabilities are not typical. So your average run of the mill parenting books serve only to frustrate.
Much of the advice does not work. And even worse, the wisdom contained in their pages only seem to fuel our detractors, providing further evidence of imagined "parenting deficiencies."
We met the personification of a parenting book in a Behavior Specialist in Denver, fresh out of college, who insisted that "if you do this, your daughter will do that" like Pavlovian's dog. $3,000 and six months of intervention wasted.
The child label "atypical" is aptly descriptive. But over time, we begin to tease apart the patterns, and gain mastery over triggers and can even predict behaviors soon enough to avert them.
We learn ways to come along beside our children and teach them what seemed so elusive at the onset. We find a tribe of health care professionals, educational specialists and other parents who understand, and together, we can knowingly smile when handed a traditional parenting book that we will quickly shelve.