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  • Writer's pictureChristine McCarty


Funny word, right? What exactly does it mean? According to the dictionary it means to adapt or improve by adjusting or modifying (something, such as a product, service, or strategy).

What does it mean to pivot in life? To me, it means “getting back to the basics” before continuing a certain path. You may change your path/direction, but you keep the same end goals. In other words, you “stay the course” while altering the means to get there after assessing what you’ve learned about yourself and your environment. So, by getting back to basics, you can change your approach, strategy while still pushing toward your goal, whatever that may be.

This word took on a whole new meaning when I became a parent and then a special needs parent. We all need to pivot in life but being a special needs parent, the pivot may need to be more frequent. You may not even know how and where to pivot to. There are a lot of unknowns when raising a special needs child, but sometimes, revisiting the basics helps navigate the unknowns.

So, any time a meltdown happens, a setback, maybe even a bit of a regression, I always go back to the basics with Addy. What is the overall goal here? If it’s handwriting, I go back to strengthening her grasp by doing finger exercises, or if it’s behavior, I go back to her triggers and how I can steer her toward the appropriate behavior. I try not to focus on what’s not happening, but what needs to happen and the basic steps to achieve this goal. Change the short-term goal you might ask? Well that depends on the pivot and the desired outcome. Maybe the original goal was a bridge to far and we need some interim goals along the way. For me, going back to the basics helps to mitigate my frustration as well as Addy’s. It’s almost like a reset button. I then look at the goal and tend to keep pushing towards it, just maybe with a different approach.

Lastly, to pivot in life does not mean failure. It means, using the most current information and finding a way to persevere and become a better version of yourself. Addy has taught me to pivot in life more times than I can count. At no time have I ever regretted the pivot as each time has brought new insights and we have always reached the goal! So keep pivoting!

Much love,

Raising Addy

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