In this article (4 Steps to Fostering Independence in Children with Special Needs) about concepts in her book, Rochel writes “Let’s face it. As parents, finding a comfortable position when watching our children navigate a challenge can be tricky. We may want to occasionally hold their hand, intermittently grasp their hand, or steadily provide the loyal shadow of our supportive hand. The research on resilience can leave us further uncertain of our parental stance. There is research to support the benefits of demonstrating parental assistance on children’s social, emotional, behavioral, and language development and research that supports the importance of nurturing independence in children, even from a young age.” In her  children’s book on perfectionism and anxiety, Pearla and Her Unpredictably Perfect Day, Rochel addressed this stance using a modest message. While the main character, Pearla learns to undergo painful feelings by herself and learns to problem solve, her father is given a muted role, while being visually right behind her. We all recognize that agonizing position! Additionally, Rochel’s book incorporates a guide for parents along with discussion questions to foster this relationship.

She writes about four simple strategies to foster independence in children with special needs. Firstly, parents can identify their position when watching their child navigate a challenge. Secondly, parents could listen to what they say to themselves while observing their position in their child’s struggle. Then, they can determine their stance, within the guidelines of safety. Finally, they can identify and celebrate the baby steps when building independence. Rochel assures that fostering this independence in children can reciprocally help parents develop their own sense of resilience.

Rochel Lieberman, MA CCC-SLP, is a Speech-Language Pathologist and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her research interests are social-emotional literacy and stress in language development. She brings these concepts and tools to children in her book. Rochel’s book can be purchased here.