Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Excited... about a tonsil/adenoid removal?

Tonight as I was tucking little miss into bed, I asked her about her surgery coming up this Friday.

"I'm kind of excited." was her reply.

When I asked why, I got this... "Because I don't usually get a lot of attention... my brother does. And I'm going to get attention."


That was like a knife in the heart.

She followed with, "I know he has autism, and he needs things, but I'm excited to get attention, too."

Twist the knife...

It was an opportunity for a long talk.

If she ever needs us, she can ask us for a Sunday. Sundays, her dad is off work, and we can split the kids and go 1:1. If she ever feels like she needs us before then, let us know, and we'll figure something out. Just let us know. We're not perfect, we're just doing the best we can. We need her help, too. Anytime.

She cried. I cried.

It hurt to hear that she feels like she doesn't get what she needs.

But hopefully she understands that in the future, she can let us know, and we will make sure it's okay.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The "R" Word.

"You're so retarded."

Every time I hear that word, it makes me flinch.

The other students, fifth graders, I was working with, noticed my reaction to one of their classmates using the word.

One was angry, he knew it wasn't okay to use that word.

The others wanted to know why. They honestly didn't know why it was wrong to use the "R" word. People use it so freely, so unabashedly, that they didn't understand.

It was an opportunity to show them why the word is hurtful, and why we shouldn't use it.

But it's not easy to explain.

"So, you guys know that technically, 'retarded' means slow, right?"

They did.

"And slow doesn't mean you never get something, right? Just that it may take you longer to get something."

I got some nods.

"So, say you're talking about a kid who is technically 'retarded' by medical terms - let's say the kid is 10. But maybe he's slower at developing than typical kids... so he gets what maybe a 5 year old would get. Did you understand when people were making fun of you at 5?"

I could see they were getting it by the looks on their faces.

"And by calling people 'retarded' when they do stupid things... you're basically saying that people that are slower at learning are just plain stupid. And they're not. They are just slower at picking up new stuff than an average person. And like I was saying, they get that they're being made fun of. And it hurts them."

It wasn't perfect. I feel like I could have done a better job. But for a small group of 5th graders, I think I actually made a difference.

Spread the Word to End the Word.  They explain it WAY better than I did - watch the video:

Monday, June 17, 2013

One of those days... or weeks...

Summer vacation has a way of waking me up.

I get to see the real 'dis' in disability.

I see the struggles that his awesome school deals with, that I am blissfully unaware of.

However well I think he is doing (and geez, let me be clear, we are SO far ahead of where I EVER dreamed of being!), summer, the 24-7 autism, feeding off each others' moods (we do that to an extreme)... it is difficult.

I happened upon this video (actually, I have it bookmarked, and watch it occasionally...). I absolutely adore it. 'Extreme Parenting' sums it all up nicely. It's just a reminder...