As our son grew older, my husband and I grappled with the issue of discipline. Despite our best efforts, he did not seem to change his behavior in response to our instruction. When we explained to him, “If you eat this, you will get that,” it had no effect. When we told him, “If you do that, you don’t get to watch Peppa Pig,” there was a similar lack of reaction. Frustrated, I began reading a parenting book written by a Christian for Christians. My son’s failures to obey, the author assured me, were due to his sinful nature. Every time he threw his milk on the floor, it was an act of rebellion against divinely appointed authority. Every time he failed to “come back” when instructed, it was evidence that he was turning his back not on me, but God.
But there was a possibility the author neglected to mention: my son might not be responding to my instruction because he literally could not understand the words coming out of my mouth. Nor did the book suggest the reason my son could not sit still for any length of time might be that he has attention-deficit/
As my son grew older and his developmental deficiencies became clear, I came to realize through painful experience what had been less clear in theory: even in the twenty-first century, the church has little sense of what to tell parents whose children have disabilities.
Amy Mantravadi | “The Word I Have Needed When My Son Has No Words” | July 27, 2023
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