“Young Child In Nature” by chrisroll via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
When you see that word what thought first comes to mind?
The view others have of you?
That we are all created in God's image?
The word image can have a positive or negative connotation and depending on the individual their view of "Image" may have been shaped by their child hood upbringing and later their adult experiences.
My son was recently diagnosed with Aspergers
Aspergers is a high functioning form of Autism. My husband and I prepared ahead of time to tell our son of his diagnosis. Not only did we want to be prepared but I wanted our son to have materials at his disposal to better understand what Asperger's is. I searched online and much to my relief and delight found books written for children explaining Asperger's. This one was his favorite:
The afternoon we told him, he nodded as if he had already known. I believe he felt relief to finally know why he had felt "different" amongst his peers. He had always been social despite awkward tendencies with it. Now he had a concrete reason as to why he had had these struggles. We read the book together and he excitedly pointed out the boy in the story "Was just like him!" Everyone in the family has read up on Asperger's and the sense of unity and openness has helped bring our family and extended family members closer.
If we hadn't told him we would have set him up for a lifetime of wondering the reason for his struggle combined with the struggle itself. That would have magnified the frustration he already felt! By not telling him of his diagnosis what type of message would we have been sending him?
That when you have a developmental disorder you keep it hidden.
That when you have a developmental disorder you struggle silently behind closed doors.
That when you have a developmental disorder image is more important than authenticity.
That when you have a developmental disorder it's shameful and makes you less than others.
Instead I want to be open with my son. By being upfront and honest with him it empowers him to embrace the struggles he has with social skills and coping during times of frustration thus enabling him to address them along with our encouraging guidance, therapies and prayer.
Knowledge = Power
Once he knows the reason for his struggles they no longer seem so big, so undefinable and he can now receive the validation he needs for all his internal frustration. What a gift that is!
As his parent I don't want to send him the wrong message by letting him think for one minute Image is more important than his truth, his authenticity, his value as a person.
I don't want him believing he doesn't meet this or that image…
but that he was created out of His perfect love.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2012