Museum of Motherhood

Exceptional Beyond Labels

Welcome to Exceptional Beyond Labels!

Susan Richardson

I feel called to chronicle my journey, both personally and professionally; A journey that has deepened the meaning of the unconditional love, spirituality, and self-empowerment in my life.

As a mother who has dabbled in many natural modalities to address my daughter’s symptoms of autism, I have undoubtedly seen an improvement in her quality of life. Within one year of actively pursuing these natural approaches, we were witness to huge accomplishments and joyful milestones; catatonia to an expression of life, non-verbal to the beginning of expression speech including pronouns and conjunctions, no eye contact to eye contact without ABA protocols, isolated play to parallel play then interactive play, and so much more.

I yearned to connect with other mothers and families doing the same, thus Exceptional Beyond Labels was birthed. As I ventured forward with my search to connect with others on this parallel journey, I soon discovered not many in my corner of the world where doing what I was doing. This would prompt me to offer natural approaches like mediation, reiki, shaman and soul healing through the Exceptional Beyond Labels advocacy group.

This wild adventure as brought me to a place where I no longer want to cure my child, for today I now see her as a precious gift and accept she will always see life through different colored glasses. However, don’t get me wrong, I do continue to offer her tools to make her journey through this lifetime more productive and meaningful; tools that will increase her ability to increase socialization, communication, and functionality.

Beyond supporting my child, my goal is simple to offer hope and to inspire others… mothers, fathers, siblings, educators, neighbors and anyone else whose life is touched by autism.

I, also, want to share with others about my views of how autism and spirituality are closely tied. This journey has strengthened my relationship with God and has deepened my overall spirituality. One of the things I have found to nurture this spirituality is the act of being still.

Be still… How many parents find this statement challenging to embrace?

Let’s face it; on any given day the last thing we are thinking about is being still. We have a laundry list of things to do longer than the Dead Sea Scrolls with lunches to pack, socks to sort, special dinners to prepare, extracurricular activities to organize, arguments to mediate, therapies to orchestrate….

However, I suggest that if we just took 10 – 30 minutes a day to “be still” and quiet our minds that we would be better equipped to face the day and the struggles that come along with raising a child diagnosed with a disability or who has a special need.

I recently asked a friend for some recommended tools for meditation. She suggested that I needed rest more than to meditate. As I explored my options, I found that resting WAS my meditation. It was in the act of resting and quieting my mind that I was able to Be Still.

In the act of Being Still, I was able to recharge my drained batteries and then return to the life of mindful parenting. In the act of Being Still, you too can turn off the some 65,000 thoughts we have each day and be with yourself in a space that heals, regenerates, and creates so that you can better meet the needs of your children. It is in the act of Being Still, that I discovered that my child IS exceptional beyond any label and has unlimited potential and possibilities within her!

I hope you join me on this journey and support our children who are EXCEPTIONAL BEYOND LABELS!!

About Susan:

I am mindfully beginning a ripple effect of empowerment among a community that is desperate for answers. During a meditation, I had an epiphany that my daughter was exceptional regardless of the challenges and labels that had been imposed upon her being. This tiny thought transformed our lives. I shifted my perception of my child being disabled to this phenomenal spiritual being that was here to offer immense lessons to me and all of the lives she touches. Autism became a gift not a disability in my motherly eyes. I became grateful towards God for trusting me with this incredible soul! I started to interact with her differently and I started to find joy where there used to be heavy despair. This shift in ME caused amazing shifts in my daughter. And now I am here to share them with you.

Find More Info Here:  exceptionalbeyondlabels.blogspot.com



One thought on “Exceptional Beyond Labels

  1. Susan – This is IMPORTANT stuff. We ‘stereotype’ too easily. I learned, through illness that life is a journey. Sometimes, good. Sometimes bad. But precious all the same…. and to the extent that we can liberate ourselves from thinking the way things ‘should’ be all the time, the closer we get to truly appreciating the way they ARE!

    Posted by Joy Rose | May 16, 2010, 23:31

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