“Emma struggled a lot with social anxiety. It was always awkward whenever we were with other kiddos or family members because she would always be really quiet. She was totally withdrawn and completely silent at school, she didn’t talk to friends or teachers for almost a full year.
This made us not really want to get together in social situations or be with other families because we weren’t sure how Emma would respond. Our whole family, as a result, was more withdrawn because we wanted to protect her and we didn’t want her to be stressed out.
As a mom, I felt like I should be doing so much more to help her, but I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. We would try a variety of things, like being more assertive in situations, or saying ‘it’s polite to say hi, you should say hi’. It always left me feeling embarrassed, like it was a poor reflection of me as a parent.
I had reached out to the school district at one point. Their suggestion was, ‘Maybe she needs noise cancelling headphones.’ or ‘Maybe she is overwhelmed in her environment.’ These answers left me feeling helpless. It felt like their hands were tied and they wouldn’t or couldn’t try anything else.
At WFC both Emma and I feel a lot more heard. She is seen for the individual that she is, rather than trying to put her into a box or a diagnosis.
Whole Family made me feel like my concerns for Emma were legitimate. Some of the little things that I was worried about in the past weren’t taken seriously by other professionals because they didn’t qualify for needing intervention. I was told, ‘She will grow out of it.’ At Whole Family my concerns are taken seriously.
Emma is respected and listened to here. It’s not always just a conversation with me as the parent. Dr. Tye and Dr. Chelsey engage with Emma and ask her questions too.
Thinking about the moment I realized this was actually working makes me want to cry. I work with Emma in her classroom so I was there when she talked for the first time at school. We were thinking of silly words to say and the first thing that she said was, “Stinky eyeball.”
Her classroom teacher is one of my very best friends and that’s one of the reasons I had Emma come to my school, so she could be with a trusted adult. The afternoon that it happened we looked at each other, she’s already crying so I started crying. We thought that it was just a fluke thing, that she accidentally said a word. Then all of her friends came around her and said, “Emma, you have words! Emma! Can you say my name?! Can you say MY name?! Can you say Paw Patrol?!” And it blossomed from there. She was beaming, we were crying, it was really emotional, and we were taking videos, and she has never stopped. She started talking and the rest is history.
(Emma chimed in, ‘I talk at school now!’)
When I asked Emma how it felt the first time she talked in school, Emma said, ‘It felt good.’ It was a really emotionally powerful moment, and I was surprised that this actually worked. Emma was really proud of that moment and wanted to call all the grandparents and tell them about it. It was fun seeing that she felt so much accomplishment too. It was obviously something that she was internally struggling with, so for her to break through that barrier was really powerful.
I don’t know why, but I was surprised. I knew that chiropractic works but this really reaffirmed that what happens here at WFC is legitimate. It is good work, it makes good progress, and is outrageously beneficial.
Now she is super happy and it is definitely louder at home. There is a lot more positive energy around the house. Her mood is so much happier. Before she had so much pent up emotion and energy from being silent all day long at school, that often in the evenings she would already be at the tipping point because she had been so anxious all day. She now has an outlet during the day because she is talking with her friends and is able to express herself. When she gets home she is in a much more regulated state and we are able to have a lot more quality family time.
The most special part of coming here is the people. The deeper I get into parenting the more I realize that it takes a village. Just when you think you know it all, life throws you for a loop. When asked why she likes coming to WFC Emma said, “I think I know, (pause) maybe because they are my best friends.”
Dr. Tye is family so it was an easy transition because we know him personally. It has felt like an extension of family, and it’s nice to feel that support especially in an area where we felt so helpless. It’s nice to have WFC tell us, ‘This is not our first time. Come on in. It may be your first time going through something like this and it feels scary, but it’s not for us. Come on in.’ I recommend people come to WFC because everyone deserves to feel supported through parenting.”
~ Liz J. for her daughter Emma