Friday, March 7, 2014

Becoming an Autism-Warrior-Parent, Channeling Deborah, Esther and Miriam

 My post up at the Times of Israel

It’s an interesting time of year. Spring. First we celebrate Purim and then Passover. My favorite part of both holidays is that their stories are replete with female heroines. And not the meek and mild kind of heroine, but one who stands up for what she believes in and risks everything in order to obtain her goal: freedom and safety for the Jewish people.

I suppose the earliest Biblical story that I always enjoyed was the Deborah story. Probably not in small part because that is also my Hebrew name. A woman who could stand her ground and defend what was hers always intrigued me. Her ability to lead men into battle and win against a stronger, more formidable foe is not a lesson lost (and yes, I know she had Barak at her side. Well I am lucky I have the husband at my side). There is fortitude among women when they encounter adversity and they can imbue themselves with an uncanny strength to protect hearth, home and those that they love.

Not by coincidence when you become the parent of a child with a special need, you summon up a strength that you didn’t know you had in you. I call it the “warrior-parent” gene. Of course all good parents are characteristically protective of their children and fight for their child on any given day, but we, we warrior-parents, are a different breed of human being.  Our fights are not simply with society and the world around us. Our fights are with the everyday challenges of everyday living.

We are faced at times with a more formidable and powerful, implacable foe than the uneducated and the unaware, we fight the daily unknown.

Read the rest HERE.