Podcast Episode 34. The term ‘letting go’ means different things to different people. Sometimes as parents we have to let go of our own expectations of what our children’s lives will look like.This was the case for this week’s guest Fiona who found that once she let go of her own expectations it opened up a new world of possibilities. Originally from the UK but now living in the US Fiona shares her story about why she believes letting go of expectations was the best solution for her family.
Fiona has two sons with autism and she starts by talking about the struggles to get a diagnosis for her oldest son, Hamish, so that he could get the support he needed. Part of the problem was that because her son was coping with the school work but not with the school environment the professional couldn’t really see a problem. However, once he was observed in school the issues were acknowledged although it did take another 18 months to get the actual diagnosis.
Fiona also talks about those early school years and about how engaging with other parents at her son’s school at least helped resolve some of the issues at school. She feels that by talking to other parents we can break down some of the assumptions being made about our children.
Once they moved to the US and Hamish was by this time older a different set of issues arose. One result of this was that Hamish was put onto medication which turned out to be a huge mistake. As time went on, Fiona realised that Hamish needed a change…they all did. So, when Hamish turned 16, Fiona and her husband decided that they weren’t going to force their child through the education system any longer. So, they pulled him out of school, and she believes that was the best decision they ever made. This took away the pressure of expectations on him and has enabled him to figure out what is the best way forward for him.
Fiona’s advice to other parents is to let go of expectations that you and everyone else around you might have about what they should be doing. The focus needs to be what is best for them as an individual. It is never going to be easy to suspend our expectations because we all want what is best for our children but sometimes we need to let them go find their own solutions.