Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Unique Kids

Jake is our Little Man. Isn't he handsome? You'd never know by looking at him that he has Autism. He's my problem solver. Jake never asks for help, he will work at something until he figures is out... or breaks it. He is compelled to know how things work. I look at the above picture and just know he is figuring out how that flower came to be. Yes, Jake stims, he flaps his arms when he gets excited and he lines up his cars end to end when he's upset. He has meltdowns when he doesn't get his way, but what four year old doesn't throw a tantrum once in a while. He also gives great hugs and kisses, he cuddles and he tries so hard to please the adults in his life. He works so hard, too hard for someone this young. What four year old has a full time job? Jake does. No, he doesn't get paid, at least not in money. His pay off is being able to ask for a certain toy or cartoon or milk. Jake gets up everyday and goes to school for seven hours, he spends time in occupational therapy and speech therapy and ABA. Then comes home to more. It seems harsh like its too much, but for kids with Autism, work is play and play is work. Autism makes it hard for Jake to socialize. Autism makes it hard for Jake to communicate. Autism makes it hard for Jake to do a lot of things, but it does not make it hard for him to love. And it definitely does not make it hard to love him.
The DIVA. Yes, in caps. Ryan, my baby girl. She's gorgeous even with her ragamuffin hair. At two and a half she is wise beyond her years. My mother says Ryan was born old. She wasn't, but she has taken on the roll of protector of her older brother. Somehow, Ryan at her young age decided that her big brother needed someone strong to stand up for him. We didn't push her to do this. It just came naturally to her. Ryan is strong-willed and loyal. One day Ryan will be able to speak her mind, she does now, but I know she will teach others that everyone is different. Everyone has unique talents that should be explored. Every kid has something in them that can and will benefit others as well as themselves. Ryan commands attention everywhere she goes and hopefully someday she will use that ability to teach others about her brother and what Autism means.

Both of my children can be anything. Nothing can hold them back.

I didn't want to use this blog as a soapbox and I will probably (hopefully) never mentions my son's Autism again, but I want people to know that small comments at the grocery store or the park about a child's tantrums are not needed and not appreciated. It hurts. It hurts me but more importantly it hurts my children. Jake has a hard time speaking but he understands everything that is said to or about him. Children with Autism tend to live in the now, words like later or in a little while have very little meaning to them. If that child is having a meltdown because he can't get something he wants at that moment "a good spanking" is not going to help. Luckily, for us anyway, tantrums don't last long. We've worked hard, Jake especially, to get past the meltdowns. Jake and Ryan both understand that they don't always get a treat at the store. But there are parents out there who haven't hit that milestone yet. Please show a little compassion and understanding. As parents to any child, typical or one with special needs, we are just doing the best we can. It is already the hardest job there is and a nod and an understanding smile goes a long way when you are at the store with a screaming child.

3 comments:

  1. Hi! Stopping in from SITS. Cute kids! Love the cabinet door idea. Great job. I feel inspired!

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  2. You have beautiful children, and a lot to be proud of. I can tell you are a wonderful mommy!

    Thanks for stopping by my place today!

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  3. Thanks Ladies! Y'all are so sweet to comment.

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