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.