I think most of us have a vision of what our relationship with our children might look like when we first step into parenthood. We know what we want our kids to experience, how we hope to interact with them, and how we want to communicate with them to build a strong bond.
But, as parents of children with disabilities, we also know that these visions don’t always play out. In the case of nonverbal children, we have to learn how to use communication devices and become incredibly attuned to body language instead of having the verbal conversations we might be used to. It doesn’t change our hopes for our relationship with our children, but it does affect the way we communicate and build that bond with them.
In this special topic episode, Brianna Christian shares how she celebrates her son Isaac’s ability to communicate in his own unique way. She talks about all the ways she can see him growing and developing his personality even though he doesn’t meet “milestones” prescribed by the typical medical community. At the same time, she acknowledges the difficulty that her son faces when he has trouble expressing himself to others, and the frustration of trying to teach others to read his body language and understand his communication skills and respect his intellectual capabilities.
Through it all, Brianna’s main goal is to always honor and respect her son and the many complex feelings that he has as a three-year-old, even if the way he communicates looks unfamiliar to most. Allowing him to feel his feelings and letting Isaac guide Brianna about his needs has only strengthened the bond between the two of them.