Posts tagged ‘children’

My lucy day

An entry from C’s writing journal at school….

….Tomoroow we are going to the zoo. Tomoroow is my lucy day. My shaporon is coming. I think I will see a lion…

Translation – “…tomorrow is my lucky day. My chaperone is coming….”

Awwww, shucks. That “shaporon” he’s talking about is me. I have the sweetest boy in the world.

April 16, 2008 at 9:00 am 7 comments

We are the champions

    When something happens, good or bad, C often tells me the story in bits and pieces, sometimes over a period of days. Because his perception of events is often different than other people’s, he sometimes doesn’t tell me what I need to know in order to fully understand the situation and help him process it. I’ve grown better at asking the right questions to get to the bottom of something while still allowing his telling of the story to be in his way.

     The other day at school, a boy in C’s class called him a “loser.” The interesting piece of the story here is that C was running to get a ball at the time, and he got it. He took the word “loser” so literally as to mean he lost the race to get the ball. His point was that he DID get the ball, so he was a “winner.” He was upset, not because the boy meant something far more all-encompassing than C’s understanding of the word, but because the boy was technically wrong. 

     I was so thankful in that moment that he doesn’t comprehend the connotations of the word. I was so grateful that he sees things in black and white so he didn’t understand how awful and powerful a word it can be. For him it’s about the definition, not the nuance. Yet someday he will understand that word, and all its negative undertones. For that, I fear, he is sorely under-prepared (aren’t we all?). I can only hope when I told him that he is in fact a winner, it, like the other positive things we try to say to him whenever possible, settled into his psyche enough to help counteract some of what will surely come down the road.

April 14, 2008 at 8:42 am 3 comments

Let it be

     When C was finishing preschool, we experienced much angst about where to start him in kindergarten. The well-respected private school with small classes, earthy mothers who grew their own food, and teachers who believed in experiential education? The regular public school, complete with therapy services, a traditional school setting, and other children with special needs? I eagerly visited all the possibilities in our town, hoping the right school for C would reach out and grab me. You’d think we were making a decision between Harvard and Yale, given the weight it seemed to have. Yet we knew having the right environment, the right teacher, and the right feeling would make or break C’s educational experience from the start.

     Our little town was blessed with a myriad of choices, one of which was a Waldorf school. The important aspect of Waldorf education in terms of how it relates to C is that they don’t concentrate on reading until around grade 3. Since C could read already, I thought perhaps this style of learning might be good for him because it would push him to focus on creativity, fine motor skills, and less structure – all things he struggled to grasp.

     As I discussed our options with C’s preschool teacher, she bluntly shot down the idea of Waldorf education for C. “Reading is who he is, what he loves. Why take that away from him?” She was right, of course. In trying to make him more well-rounded, I was, in essence, considering forcing something on him that likely would have been miserable for him. It was my first lesson in the delicate balance between helping him gain skills and letting him be himself. From that point forward, instead of trying to make him something he’s not, I focused more on what he is.

March 31, 2008 at 9:59 am 3 comments

An Easter ditty

     While dyeing Easter eggs this afternoon, this little song came out:

10 little eggs, the 10th couldn’t wait, he just turned into a bird.

9 little eggs, the 9th couldn’t wait, he went into another egg.

8 little eggs, the 8th saw all the other birds flying around.

7 little eggs, the 7th turned into a peacock.

6 little eggs, the 6th became a blue bird and flew away.

5 little eggs, the 5th went to a putting green.

4 little eggs, the 4th just flew away.

3 little eggs the 3rd couldn’t wait, he turned into a giraffe.

2 little eggs, the 2nd just couldn’t wait, he turned into a plant.

1 little egg, the 1st became a video game maker.

All the 10 little eggs said “hello, ciao, hi, how are you doing…..FEED ME!”

March 20, 2008 at 11:41 am 1 comment

To be or not to be

     There is much debate over whether or not to “treat” kids with autism in the hopes that they get better. Some believe autism is an irreversible brain condition and we should all accept these children for who they are and not try to change them. There are others who will go to the ends of the earth to try every remedy out there (and there are many), searching for the holy grail that will “fix” their “damaged” child.

     We fall somewhere in between. We adore C just the way he is, and if his issues stayed the way they are we’d continue to feel blessed. We don’t think there’s one thing wrong with who he is. Yet we also firmly believe autism is a medical diagnosis that in some cases can be treated if the proper treatment can be found. C has real medical issues that contribute to his symptoms of autism. We are still working to get to the bottom of some of them, and while we know he will probably never be considered “recovered,” we can absolutely help him feel better. We don’t care if he recovers from autism, but we do care if his tummy hurts, his joints hurt, and if he just doesn’t feel well.

    I understand the position that we need to accept these children for who they are, but does that preclude us trying to make them feel better? Must the ideas that we can love our kids and that we can also help them feel better be mutually exclusive?

    

March 12, 2008 at 9:10 am 2 comments

C-isms

Mommy, when I grow up will I be named after a road?

Do you mean will a road be named after you?

Yes, like Frank Lloyd Wright. What do you have to do to be named after a road?

*

(as he’s looking at the Mervyn’s ad) Mommy, there’s a Mommy just like you. Does that Mommy cost $34.99?

Do you know what science fiction is? Something that can happen but hasn’t happened yet. Like if you don’t have a dog you can get one. And for my birthday I’d rather like a robot. Do you know what realistic fiction is? It’s like regular fiction but I don’t understand it really.

Mommy I can’t talk when I’m playing the rabbit (rapid) round on my Leapster. 

(as we’re passing a marble and tile store) Is that where you go when you lose your marbles?

I saw a Galaga 88 story on Wikipedia, the Free Unclepedia.  

Can I play a song on the juice (juke) box?

Mommy, what year were you boring? How old were you when I was boring?

Does Aunt J have 6 legs? Is she a bug?

I say some funny things, don’t I?

March 11, 2008 at 8:54 am 4 comments

Friends in all places

     C is the friendliest child in the world. He cares about everyone and everything. He talks to babies, kids, adults, elderly people, animals, planes, trains, cars, flowers, trees and bikes. Still, however, he is the friendliest kid without any friends you could ever meet. He is “friendly” with many children at school, but he doesn’t have any close friends. No one is running home from school begging to have him over. If I don’t initiate the contact with a parent and invite a child to play, he would never see anyone, because no one ever invites him over. It’s heartbreaking.

     That’s part of why we moved close to my family, because we figured if Ga and Pa were two of his best friends, so be it. His friends will probably always come in unusual forms.

     A case in point is a program they have at his school. Mentors come in and volunteer their time once a week to hang out with a child. Generally they are children that are struggling in some way, and while I know C’s mentor, “Mrs. T,” probably wonders what she can possibly teach him in terms of academics, she gives him the world in his having his own special friend at school who is only there for him. It is the highlight of his week…well, maybe next to gym class.  

February 20, 2008 at 2:37 am 3 comments

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