Friday, October 28, 2011

I am a dragon mum

Three interesting things happened to me yesterday. Firstly, I read this article. Secondly, I had a confrontation with a potential new preschool for Little B (it's joined to the primary school he will go to) and finally, a close friend told me that my blog wasnt a true reflection of me if I wasnt honest about my life.

So here goes...I am the mum to a gorgeous little boy who also happens to have additional needs. In June this year, Little B was diagnosed with developmental coordination disorder (or dcd). This disorder used to be known as dyspraxia and in his case would be considered motor dyspraxia. He was born with hip dyplasia (complete dislocation of one hip) despite not having any of the call signs...he was a boy, not a breech and we had no family history. I now know that the bad bleed I had at 18 weeks was probably the cause (if any) of his additional needs, with hip dysplasia being the first indication.

So what does this mean?? On the face of it to the outside world - nothing. Most people wouldnt guess that there is anything "wrong" with Little B. But when I took him to a occupational therapist (ot) on advice from his preschool and then onto a paed physiotherapist on their recommendation, I could clearly see the differences. Little B struggles with balance, coordination, muscle tone, fine motor control to name a few. We now do 18 hours a week of physio and ot (a mixture of appointments & home based therapy) to improve his life - get him to grow some muscles. Little B had no muscle memory and no natural premonition for things that come next - his body quite simply does not respond to him naturally the same way that yours or mine does.

I'm lucky that my insistence on attachment parenting, lack of tv and therefore immersement in outdoor play / craft / reading books etc has actually meant that he has more skills than they normally see. But this process of physio intervention and so forth will be a life long one. He wont "get better" from this.

So how was yesterday interesting? Unlike Emily in the article above, my child is not going to die young. But he has a lifelong disorder...we are learning to parent a child who has in some instances a very difficult future ahead of him.

"This requires a new ferocity, a new way of thinking, a new animal. We are dragon parents: fierce and loyal and loving as hell" - Emily Rapp

I am a dragon mum - fierce and loyal and loving as hell. The last 4 months have shown me the challenges of fighting for your child in a system that is happy to let all the balls fall down. That would happily consign your child to the cracks. The difficulty in fighting a 4.5 year old to do physio everyday without fail when he doesnt want to.

So this is me being real and honest. And proud - I adore my son and as Emily says I would walk through a tunnel of fire for him. So instead I take my fierce nature and I fight for him, I help him, I train with him, I love him...I never never never give up. And if that's all he ever learns from me than I have done a brilliant job.


  1. I think the ability to be a dragon parent is most often a true reflection of the depth of your love. I have seen extremely chilled out parents turn into dragon's when the needs of their child requires them too. Having that bit of your heart walking around outside of your body prompts some rather uncharacteristic responses depending on the situation... and Little B's will require a strong advocate until he is willing and able to advocate for himself.

    Best Wishes

  2. I read Emily's article and thought "that's all there is, for any parent". There are struggles great and smaller for anyone who has ever looked into a pair of eyes and said 'my child'. We solider on, that's what we parents do. And we know, ultimately, that our children's struggles are really their own and we are there simply to hold their hand with a little squeeze that tells them "you are never alone". x