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It's not enough to just be a great support to your Neurodivergent child

I have got both of my hands up as totally been guilty of this in the past... but it is simply not enough to just be a great support to your neurodivergent child - not even close.

I see this time and time again, and experienced it myself.

A child gets diagnosed with some type of neurodivergence and mum and/or dad go hell for leather doing their best to create a neurodivergent affirming life for their child with as much knowledge as they have in that moment - their child is booked into the best therapists, they are advocating for their child at school and their social media feed shows they are not going to put up with any ableism when it comes to their child - not by a long shot!

And yet they do absolutley nothing about the fact that they are not living an authentic life themselves.

📸 Tanya holds her 2 day old son in her arms and they are both looking into each others eyes

They secretly tick the boxes off in their head for the things that are similar to what they themselves did as a child when they sit in therapy appointments with their child.

They continue working in jobs they hate to pay the bills, or even worse, give up their careers to support their child full time (stay with me - I was there too) and make their whole life about supporting their child.

They dutifully not engage in social engagements or leave early because "Johnny" is getting over stimulated, totally ignoring the fact that they too are absolutely exhausted (and maybe overstimulated themselves because lack of sleep forces you to remove your masks).

And your child becomes a full time almost 'project' to manage. I know I am triggering you ... I know as when this realisation hit me a few years ago it triggered the fuck out of me. I had no idea of the impact I was having on my child being this dutiful, "I will do anything for you and have nothing for myself because that makes me a good Mum", Mum.

Do you really think that you are going to get the best out of your child like that? I did. I did for a long while. But what I know to be true MANY years later, is that my child only started to thrive, yes after doing all of those things and more above to create a neurodivergent-affirming life, but when I myself started living authentically.

When I started dropping my own masks and started getting really honest about who I was, what makes happy, and what my own sensory profile and nervous system needed.

📸 Tanya and her son sit with their arms around each other in a large Crystal at the Crystal Castle

My child thrived from watching me stop doing things like training for my body shape, and started making my choices, and articulating, what was best for my brain health.

You see by me being a martyr and giving up my life for my child I gave him this massive burden that he never asked for... and yet the old ways I was doing things were not working. Following my interests and passions; taking things out of my life so I had space to "see" what not just my son, but I, needed; being real with who I was without apology or requesting permission... these are the things that my son needed from me.

As a result my son doesn't see Autism and ADHD as a deficit. Why would he? His mum has both and played hockey for Australia Country and runs Businesses and is smart and funny and loving and an amazing Mum (input was taken from my son on that one) ... our circles our neurodivergent-allies and I, what we call, "never-at-homeschool" him. Why would he ever think that being an AuDHDer is a detriment?

THIS is what your child needs from you. YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF. YOU being happy. YOU doing the things you need to do for your brain to work at its optimum (no matter what your neurology). YOU being honest about, and advocating for your own needs. YOU need to go first and be the representation for your child for what living authentically looks like... and as a hint, you can't do it the way you were living your life before as it won't work. You can't expect to raise an authentically healthy, happy, thriving child when you are not living that yourself.

Trauma is passed down through our DNA - which means we are carrying on ancestors trauma, and our children carry ours... so it is our responsibility to heal our trauma wounds and break the neurodivergent trauma cycles.

📸 Tanya holds her son for the first time after he was first born

I know I would literally die for my child - there is no fight I wouldn't enter for him. When he feels pain our empathic connection is so strong its like I am feeling the same pain too... but that's not what my son needs from me.

Be brave and start showing the world who you really are. THAT is how you support your child the most.

Sending big love ♡

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