They are the children who don't fit the boxes, the free spirits, the wave-makers, the innovators ... they are the children that cannot comply; even when they really really want to. Who can not do the thing, even when they have chosen the thing... begged for the thing... then suddenly the weight of expectation renders them incapacitated. Some of them have labels... in fact all of them have labels, just some are given by doctors and psychiatrists and others are slapped on by society. At some point in our evolution, somebody decided to box up 'normal' based on traits of the vast majority. Those that did not fit those boxes were deemed sick, broken, deficient and given a label, autistic, neurodivergent, ADHD, PDA, anxious, selfish, sociopathic, disruptive, naughty, oppositional, stubborn, feral... to name a few. But deep down you know they are not deficient ... they are wired up differently, wired up to never forget that they are born free and that they have everything they need to thrive in this world... if only they had the autonomy, trust and independence to do so their own way
You are the parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, carers, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles ... the ones who have been made to feel like you are just not trying hard enough, doing what you should, not setting boundaries, being too soft, being too strict, not giving enough stickers and praise, giving too many stickers, making things up, imagining things ... this is for all of you too!
I am Suzan Issa, I am based in the UK, and one of the wild children, diagnosed at 40 as Autistic with a heavy sprinkling of PDA and hefty dose of ADHD to complete the potion. School stopped being an option for me at 11, I was angry and afraid, but most of all, utterly exhausted by it. Self taught and wandering through the next 30 years, I became a teacher, specialist headteacher, SENCO … but just like 11 year old me; I always felt like I was on the wrong side of the argument, I just didn’t quite fit in… until one day, once again, being in school was no longer possible for me. I now work alongside families to navigate the journey of discovering and understanding their child’s neurotype… finding ways together to ensure that every member of the network around the child feels understood and empowered to create a harmonious home.