Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Paradigm Shift

I grew up having a great birthday party each year – with friends, Carvel ice cream cake and games. It is important to me that our children have that experience as well. Each year, I’ve stressed over how we can make it great for Ben too. This year, I changed my perspective – it needed to be great for Ben – and that meant changing my view of birthday parties. Ben’s favorite place to eat is Fuel Pizza on Central Avenue – it has TVs anywhere you look, excellent pizza and a low-key atmosphere. I planned a 2 hour party with family and friends with pizza and Bob the Builder cupcakes. After one hour, several slices of pizza and two cupcakes, Ben was ready to leave. With the help of Grandma, he made his way to the exit. Party was over.

A paradigm shift is necessary. We, as parents, cannot apply the same standards that we use everyday in our own lives or from our childhood to plan, make decisions or even measure success. A whole new scale must be developed when you have a child with special needs – and that may even change as the child grows. In the instance of the birthday party, if my typical child was ready to leave after one hour, I would have been horrified. But I know with Ben, he had a good time, and the party was a success.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Vanessa!
    Wow, what a great job you've done...for Ben, for others, for yourself! You've reached the point in this process where you are able to share your experiences with others, both good and bad, and that in itself is a milestone to be proud of! It's about time that we tackle the difficult subject matter and talk about the sometimes unpleasant experiences we encounter through our journeys. I will forward this blog to those I know will benefit from your openness! Send Ben my love!

    ~Kim Jonas (formerly Dolan)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Vanessa!
    Wow, what a great job you've done...for Ben, for others, for yourself! You've reached the point in this process where you are able to share your experiences with others, both good and bad, and that in itself is a milestone to be proud of! It's about time that we tackle the difficult subject matter and talk about the sometimes unpleasant experiences we encounter through our journeys. I will forward this blog to those I know will benefit from your openness! Send Ben my love!

    ~Kim Jonas (formerly Dolan)

    ReplyDelete

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