It has been a long, slow, bumpy road to accepting that my son learns differently than most kids. Simon is 9, super creative, loving and a natural leader-which at this stage, pretty much means he thrives on being the boss and the kids around him are up for his crazy ideas. He’s been described as having “a big personality” and fits the “passionate” characteristic of temperaments and he’s always been my teacher.
Straightaway from his traumatic birth, Simon has given me experience after experience of questioning nearly everything I had taken for granted about what I already knew about kids. You see, I’ve been working with kids since I was about 14 and pretty much figured I understood how this whole child development thing worked. But nothing, neither my Education degree nor 10 years of teaching, prepared me for how to be his mom when certain things seemed insurmountably hard for him-when they seemed to come naturally to other kids. Insert long winding road of trial and error, lots of frustrating experiences for Simon, lots of mom guilt and I think you get the picture. Then we found Yvette.
Actually I’ve known her for years in my community as the Waldorf preschool teacher (which I assumed didn’t apply to me since my kids watched tv, played with plastic battery operated toys and went to a CPE). But it wasn’t until I had a conversation with her this time last year that changed everything. Yvette, in the midst of closing her preschool and starting to work with children individually, said that his reading and writing struggles might have something to do with him being born via caesarean and not having had 3 reflexes stimulated through the birth canal. Huh? At the very least this intrigued me and since we had already tried so many other things, decided to book an assessment with Yvette to get her perspective on his struggles.
Turns out Simon’s ears, eyes and movement patterns hindered his ability to learn things with ease. My son has been working with her weekly to integrate the reflexes and senses- it has been such a game changer for his learning and development. Not only have our sessions with Yvette helped my son, but the knowledge I’ve learned from her has informed how I teach my mom & baby yoga classes, my observations as a Kumon Instructor, has inspired me to discover Cellfield and as a mom, what kinds of experiences to include that help to support my children’s growth.
This was the motivation behind this month’s Making Connections workshop with Yvette Halpin and Sherry Rounds, a craniosacral and massage therapist. I’m really excited to learn more and share it everyone I know who either has their own children or whose work supports families.
As many of you know, I'm involved with a few peer based birth trauma related support groups around town, and in acknowledgment of April being cesarean awareness month, I decided to jump whole heartedly back into Birth Story Healing work. This past month, I offered free sessions by phone and in person from Almonte to Orleans, Ottawa to Chelsea. It has been a whirlwind of a month but I've been reminded of how meaningful and transformative this work can be.
There are so many families who have been affected by difficult or disappointing birth experiences-it is an honour to listen to their stories and support them through the Birth Story Healing process. Creating space for parents or birth care attendants to give voice to their challenging experiences, examine them more closely and begin to see the moments in a new light is a powerfully beautiful process to be part of!
In addition to the private sessions, I also launched my Birth Story Healing Workshop at Pranashanti this past month. These unique workshops combine the key elements of a birth story healing session with some yoga , guided meditation and even the birth art process. My next one will be at the Ottawa Birth & Wellness Centre in Ottawa in June.
Hope you all have a wonderful May filled with lots of sunshine and growth in your garden!