Wave Your Magic Wand!
Wave Your Magic Wand!
It happens over and over again, most recently when I took my 3 granddaughters to see the movie, Cinderella—the fairy Godmother arrives, waves her magic wand and everything is “happily ever after”. If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change for your son or daughter?
My interest in this question started during a panel presentation when it was asked to a group of moms—all of whom have a child with a disability. What surprised me were the responses – or the lack of a response I would have expected. Not one mom said she would change her child’s disability. These moms spoke of changing expectations for their child, changing the resources available, and changing acceptance and understanding by others. But no one wanted to change their child’s disability.
Then I asked this question of our Parent to Parent Advisory Board Members.
Here are some of their responses:
- That my children are seen as people first (not their disability) – Cindy
- People would see him as I see him — Shannon
- Change the hearts of all humans to be accepting, loving, and non-judgmental – Jeanette
- More money infused into a system that could provide adequate and appropriate supports and care – Brenda
- I would grant him all of his physical abilities and be sure he would keep his gifts of music and perfect pitch – Nathan
As I reflected on this question for my daughter, I decided if I could wave a magic wand, I would change the brain chemistry that causes her roller coast ride of emotions. I can only imagine how exhausting it is to go from extremely high and frenetic to irritable and angry to severely depressed in a matter of days or a few weeks. I would also change the understanding and acceptance of the people around her. Having an ‘invisible’ disability was difficult for her throughout school because adults often assumed she was being ‘willful’ or ‘faking it’.
However, I would not change her creativity, her artistic abilities, her ‘out of the box’ thinking or her caring heart; we don’t know how many of these characteristics are linked to a bi-polar disorder diagnosis. There are certainly a number of famous artists, musicians, innovators who are thought to also have alternate brain chemistry. So, in the end, I might conclude, like the moms on the panel did, that changing my daughter’s mental health condition would change the essence of her…and that I would not want to change!
Let’s continue this dialog! As we enter a new year, I am gifting you with a Magic Wand……what would you like to change? You can email your thoughts to our Online Parent Support Group at P2P-CO@yahoogroups.com
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More information about mental health conditions and resources is available on the P2P website in The Resource Storeroom! Look for Mental Health Resources and Specific Disability Resources This is a great place to find thousands of resources recommended by our members!