The Myth of “Normal”

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Recently, my friend Haley – an occupational therapist and fellow mompreneur – and I were in a workshop for women in tech. The workshop facilitator asked the two of us (since our businesses are similar) about the most commonly-asked question from parents.

 

Haley answered “They ask ‘Is my child normal?’”

 

At that moment, I had what Oprah would call an “aha moment”. Because while I hear so many parents expressing worry and frustration over their child’s progress, underlying all of these concerns is the question “Is this normal? Is something wrong?”

 

A few days later, I was making small talk with another woman while waiting in line at the grocery store. We (surprisingly) left the topic of Brad and Angelina when she asked what I did for a living. When I told her that I am a learning specialist, she launched into her 5th grade daughter’s struggles with organization. Despite loosing homework assignments fairly often, her daughter’s grades were fine and she liked school.

 

“So, is this normal? Or does she have some kind of ADD?” the mother asked.

 

When it comes to learning challenges – like ADHD or dyslexia – some children obviously face difficulty.

 

And others…well, it’s not so clear. They may not be really falling behind or failing, but they aren’t having an easy time with school either. So what’s the deal?

 

Our children have all kinds of gifts, mindsets and brain profiles; they are hardwired to make a wide variety of contributions to this world.

 

Unfortunately, the school setting values just a handful of learning profiles. Any child who does not fit those few configurations is likely to feel frustrated and inadequate in school, despite their tremendous abilities.

 

Eventually, most learning profiles will get the chance to shine. But what do we – as parents and/or teachers – do in the meantime?

 

One key to helping our children learn and find success lies in understanding their personal strengths and challenges as early as possible.

 

Use the chart below to take an inventory of the areas where your child soars and struggles.

 

Our children do best when they feel known and supported by us, and when we in turn help them understand themselves.

 

Best wishes, Parent Warriors. Reach out to us if we can be of help!

 

Much love,

 

Heather

 

 

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