Nov 26, 2019
Every single one of us holds beliefs that we believe are true. Do you know that our beliefs shape both our happiness and our misery? What we believe can help us to raise our child with autism and special needs to be strong and independent and happy, or it can help them to grow up feeling like a victim and that there is something wrong with them.
In this episode, we are talking about the topic of beliefs. We don't often realize that the beliefs that we hold so closely shape everything in our lives. Our reality that we view the world is framed by the set of beliefs that we have. It can be challenging to look at them in our own lives because it has been ingrained into us since we were little children. We've been trained and conditioned by the people in our lives. Because we've thought that way for so long, it's easy to believe it still.
The parents and adults in young children's lives fear the topic of special needs, and they teach their children not to stare or talk about them. They are taught not to look at someone different, and as a result, it puts into their minds that people with special needs should be feared. It is easy as an adult to still feel like it is the truth when you grow up with this belief that is there from such a young age. It is especially easy to take something as fact when there is a large group of people that feel the same way about something. Many people that hold a negative view about special needs often don't have anyone in their life that has any disability. I discovered that most of the beliefs I had were based on other peoples' uninformed opinions.
Growing up, I was influenced by the people around me and their view about children with special needs, and this shaped my negative thinking when I received Remy's diagnosis. I used to believe that Remy's autism and epilepsy was a curse placed on her life. She was a beautiful and perfect little girl in every way, and her life was cursed because she had crippling seizures and was unable to communicate or interact with people like other children could. I had to start asking myself what the positives were about Remy's situation. What could be the reason that she has autism and epilepsy? I learned that when you question your beliefs and ask yourself why you believe something, you'll be able to see that a lot of those beliefs are not true and that your fear is just that. It's fear.
When you have low expectations, then the very things you are afraid of are going to be true. Your child can feel your energy, even if you are not verbally communicating it. If you think that your child is a victim, then that is what they will grow up feeling like, and it can create anxiety for your child and a sense of dependency. They will not think that they are capable of being independent or confident in themselves unless you believe that they are.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Our weaknesses or things that we think are weaknesses are there to help teach us and to help us grow and evolve. Our strengths are the special things that we can give to the world. Remy is here to change the world. Because of my actions and everything I believe aligns with that belief, it will inevitably happen. This enables me not to feel any fear about her future. When people have a change of heart, they will start to have a different perspective about people with autism and epilepsy, and that will influence other people in their lives and challenge their ignorant beliefs and so on. That is how your child can change the world!
It is a process to accept your child's diagnosis. The only way that your beliefs can truly change is if you acknowledge that they exist. Then you can start to think differently and believe differently, and that is when you will see that your life changes, your parenting style changes, your child changes, and ultimately, complete change happens.
(6:30) Beliefs are things we can change; they aren't facts. They are just a set of guidelines that we use to go about our lives. When I started to question the beliefs that I had, I was able to start seeing the beauty of autism and epilepsy. There is beauty in it because epilepsy, autism, and other special needs are there as a tool to teach us and awaken us and to show appreciation for the contrast in life.
(17:50) If we have a victim mentality, then every single action that we take is rooted in that belief, and we are leaving a devastating fate to our kids. The worst thing you can do is make a conclusion about your child before they are grown because you are setting whatever negative belief that you have about their future. I had to begin to look at what I believed and realize that what I thought about special needs was a small way of thinking. Asking questions about my own beliefs was the seed of what the power of Remy's purpose was.
(21:41) A cultural belief doesn't mean that what they believe is true. My experience with my daughter was very different than my experience with the things I heard before I had her. What people believed about autism and special needs was not correct because most of those beliefs came from people who didn't have someone in their life with autism or special needs.
(22:45) If you cant except your child, and you believe they are cursed, then what you are putting out into the world is more of that unacceptance and fear. It is not about the words you say but the energy around it. You may want the best for your child, but deep down, if you think that there is something wrong with your child, anything that comes out of your mouth or any energy is going to reflect that belief.
(25:13) All behavior is a form of communication, and whether you understand it or not doesn't make it any less communication. If you have the belief in you that your child is a victim, then you are putting that on your child, and even if you don't say it with words. You can be saying positive reinforcing messages with your words, but if your belief is something different, that is what they will hear. They will start to grow up thinking there is something wrong with them and that they are less than. When they become adults, they won't be able to function because the only messages they ever got were that they are a mistake.