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  • Writer's pictureHannah's Hope

Faking it.

Stephanie Weiderstrand, creator of Beyond Special, explains her own personal story as both unexpected and chaotic. Her daughter was diagnosed at the age of two with global developmental delay, sensory processing disorder, and ADHD. Later, she was also diagnosed with Autism. After spending years and thousands of dollars trying to "fix" her daughter's "problems," she decided to stop and try to find the beauty in her daughter's differences. She says, "If we continue to only focus on the child's problems and failures, we will limit our abilities to recognize our child's strengths and gifts." But being so positive for the sake of your child and your family can be exhausting. On her blog, Stephanie wrote "When Feeling Positive Feels Fake" to highlight the difficulty in being the parent to a child with differing abilities; it's never all sunshine and rainbows. There are days in everyone's life that feel so chaotic and overwhelming that being positive just feels unnatural. In her article, Stephanie points out the fact that "just because an activity feels fake in the beginning does not necessarily mean that you are being fake for performing it." If you are used to complaining, trying to drastically shift your attitude and speak in a more positive light is going to feel forced and unnatural in the beginning. It takes time to get accustomed to thinking differently. Stephanie claims that there are three ways to "stay positive" even on the "fake" days. Writing things down can be helpful because it gives you time to process your emotions while self-soothing and obtaining some knowledge about your own feelings and aggressions towards a certain scenario or situation. Learning to appreciate the small things is another way to find positivity on the dark days. Even in the most chaotic of moments, there can be joy. Finding that joy encourages you to think that the bad will pass and the hard things will not feel this way forever. Lastly, take one small and simple step a day to improve a seemingly negative situation. Small steps count and they eventually add-up to be momentous rewards. So, taking time in each day to focus on the one thing you can do to make the day better will improve your overall mindset significantly. Bad days are inevitable but they are not forever. Focus your energy on the things you can control and shift your mindset, and take it all one day at a time.

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