Something really cool happened today.
Let’s back up. I have been working with a certain 9-year-old boy (we will call him Shane Brown for the sake of this blog) for over a year now. He originally was brought to see me for nutritional work for ADHD and now we are doing chiropractic care, neurosensory integration, and clinical nutrition for ASD. We have been through a lot together. Going through the diagnosis process for an autism spectrum disorder, rearranging the way the entire family eats (which is still a work in progress), and having our ups and downs of behavior days. We have certainly had some trying times.
One of the major issues with any kid with a neurodevelopmental disorder, even a minor one, is self-esteem. They know that they aren’t wired the same as other kids; they can tell something is different. Even though they may be exceptional in some areas, attention is often only brought to the areas where they are struggling. Self-esteem and self-worth have been a big issue for Shane. He used to threaten self-harm and running away. He would get extremely frustrated and upset the instant a task (like a math question) was difficult. I even once caught him while he was waiting for his appointment writing very derogatory messages to himself on a piece of paper. (We turned this into a “shredding” exercise, where we talked through it and shredded those nasty thoughts before going in to our appointment.)
This afternoon, something totally different happened. After his appointment, while he was waiting for his sister and mom to finish theirs, he stole one of my business cards. He used a Sharpee to cross out my name and wrote “Dr Brown” instead. He was really happy and excited and was very proud to show me.
I can’t express how cool this is. Anyone who has worked with troubled kids before understands how poor self-esteem can compound any issue. That he has reached the point where he can dream about himself being a doctor. That the message that I tell him every week, that he is a smart and valuable person, is finally starting to sink in. That he smiles so much more readily (and that he doesn’t stink up my office anymore because we have been helping him heal his gut). I am just so honoured to have played a part in this process. There have been so many pieces to this puzzle and I’m sure the bumpy road is not over yet, but this was a huge victory.
I know this has nothing to do with fertility prep (although I’m sure I could find a link), but I got a little teary eyed when I was telling my husband about it after a very long day’s work, so he told me I had to share this story. These kids are incredible and helping them realize it is the most amazing experience. This is why I do what I do.