Everyone's an Expert
By Accidental Expert on May 08, 2011
Growing up, I have a distinct memory of my dad. Whenever he heard some talking head on TV spouting out nonsense on this subject or that, he'd shake his head, let out a sigh and say, "Everyone's an expert these days." Isn't it ironic that today, his own daughter bills herself as one? He must be getting a good chuckle out of that one.
But I am -- at least when it comes to my kids. I don't happen to have any fancy letters after my name, but am still the pro when it comes to dealing with our own unique brand of special needs.
And I'm not the only one out there. I will go out on a limb here and say that all us moms are the true experts on what makes our kids tick, what works and what doesn't. We tend to have a sixth sense when it comes to how far we can push them and when they've gone too far.
Unfortunately, the world doesn't always agree with my assessment. Many a doctor, therapist and educator will discount us moms. We don't have the degree. We don't have the training. And we just happen to be too emotional, too close to the situation to know what is truly best for our kids.
In my humble opinion, us moms have gotten a seriously bad rap. Because plain and simple, we're just not taken seriously. I find that, unless I have a professional back up my opinion, it is simply discounted.
I have gotten that Oh-She's Just-the-Mom look enough times to understand when I've lost them. It's usually accompanied by that glazed look in their eyes and the discounting shaking of the head.
It happened when I explained to a behavioralist what my son's triggers were. I guess she wasn't satisfied with my answers and proceeded to conduct at $1200 evaluation in which she just happened to come to the the very same conclusions I gave her in our first meeting. Surprise, surprise.
Damn, I'm in the wrong business.
Then there was the time that the doctors looked at me like I was insane when I told them I wanted my guy off all his meds, because we needed to get a baseline of what we were dealing with. Two weeks and a world without antipsychotics later, I saw an animated, laughing child I hadn't seen in years. The doctors? They just shook their heads and said, "Who'd of thought?"
Me, actually. But then again, where would they be if they just listened to the mom?
And I can't forget the many IEP meetings where I have educated staff on the law, inquired about their data collection methods and the available research on a particular method.
The first reaction is always one of shock. Followed by the Who-does-this-mom-think-she-is-challenging-us? attitude and the inevitable ums and ahs to cover up the fact they are not always the experts they bill themselves to be.
So today, I wanted to give a special salute to all the experts out there. You're an amazingly strong and determined lot. Hope you are given all the love and respect you deserve.
Happy Mother's Day!
by Rita Arens
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