As a writer, I spend most of my time thinking about voice. How I write what I say is just as important as what I say. It sounds confusing, huh?
Consider the following sentence:
A woman, without her man, is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.
While each sentence have all of the same words, the placement of the punctuation conveys different messages. As parents, we must look at how we say thing so that we can raise awareness about autism (or whatever cause you’ve chosen), teach our children how to be kind to others, and ensure that we don’t destroy their self-esteem.
How you say things can also impact whether or not your message is heard. If you are unwilling to work with your child then how can you expect others to rise to the occasion. As a parent, I’ve noticed that people work harder for you and your children when your actions show that you care. Words mean very little until they are punctuated with action.
We must also find ways to help our children find their own unique voices. Parenting a child with autism has assisted me in my perception of others. I can see that no people—even typical people—are alike. This means that we each have distinctive traits that impact how we live and communicate with the world around us. In our differences, we must find common ways to coexist without being a pain to others.
Everyone wants to be heard. Take time to listen to how your message comes across about your child’s disability and to listen to how your child’s message impacts his own life and the lives of others.