Every day I talk to new families about the services we provide at In Step. I routinely ask moms and dads to tell me a little bit about what is going on at home and school to get a sense of whether our practice is the right next step. I hear from a lot of parents who have just come from a teacher conference or a pediatrician’s appointment. They have been given feedback that can be hard to hear; your child is struggling with his peers, he is being aggressive, she spends recess alone or he seems distracted and isn’t turning in any of his homework. It can be a lot to process and making the call to a stranger to talk about about getting help can be quite humbling.
Most of what I do on that first call is just listen. I hear parents express their desire for me to know that their child is more than the sum of their parts. It sounds like this, “Braden is having a hard time making friends, BUT he is a really loving, sensitive child.” “Lucy can’t seem to understand when to stop talking and it is driving her peers away, BUT when she is with her younger cousins, she lets them climb all over her and do whatever they want to make sure they are having fun at our house.” “Michael was just diagnosed with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, BUT he is really smart and is above grade level in every subject.” As the mom of three myself, I completely understand this need we have to “but” our children. It comes from a primal place inside us as parents to insist that others recognize them for who they truly are.
So let’s make a deal. You tell me the about the things your family is struggling with and I will tell you what we can do at In Step to help. We can listen to the parts of your child and yourself that need some support and give you guidance about how to work for change. You can talk about what is hard, and we will assume by virtue of the fact that you are willing to call and ask for help, that you are the kind of family who loves and respects each other. That is the foundation for progress. We can work with you on the rest.