Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Hello genetics


I went to field day today at the kid's school. Another mom who was observing the activities noticed that Reagan didn't always participate in all the events. Some events had sprinklers showering the kids with water and others required a sopping wet sponge to be passed over heads and under legs. Plus, the activity changes were announced by an air horn. Some of these things proved to be a little overwhelming for him, so he would try them and then occasionally opt out.
When I explained to this mom that Reagan has autism, she gasped, recoiled slightly and said, "Oh, no!", like I had just shared with her that I have a face eating virus. Folks, this is not the right reaction to a mother of a child who is different. This may be your internal reaction. I don't blame you for that. No one wants difficult things to happen to them or their children. But challenges are going up happen to all of us at sometime. No matter what. So instead of pity, show interest. Show kindness. Show curiosity. Offer to clean my house. I'll never shy away from talking about Reagan. He's the best. Saying, "oh, okay", is fine too. 

This is how you react to someone with autism:

Or this:

Or this:


This year has been super hard in many regards. Reagan does not learn and perform the way the rest of us do. We spent most days after school doing additional schoolwork, often around 2 hours more. If it doesn't sound fun, rest assured that it wasn't fun. I loved getting to teach him. There is something special about teaching your children. But I didn't love the copious amounts of time required to do things that weren't copacetic with his way of learning. 

One thing that really improved the year for both of us is a couple of friends who made their way into Reagan's life. Two girls, Kelsey and Alexandra, started playing with Reagan at recess. It was as simple as them noticing he was alone, asking what he wanted to do and joining in. He immediately latched onto this friendship and he noticeably brightened in his attitude toward school. For me, it's nothing short of a miracle. I worried less about him. I'm so grateful that there are some nice kids out there. 

So, here's your chance: here is Scarlett. She was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder a few weeks ago. The fun just never stops at this house. 

But we're not worried. We're already rather popular at the local pharmacy.  We've got new things to work on. Focusing and organization are things I struggle with too. But Scarlett thrives in school and loves to be a smarty pants know-it-all and i can't imagine where she got that from. Hello, genetics. We've pretty much doomed these children.  I'm hoping an overabundance of athleticism or wealth could be our next issues.

12 comments:

Will and Natalie Giddens said...

Reagan and Scarlett have the best parents!

And WHO says that to a mom? Don't you feel like sometimes people grew up under a rock?

I wish I had some kind of sarcastic/funny comment to make, but I guess I'm just too kind-hearted these days. You're one cool cat, HABS and I'm glad we're friends. Your kids are awesome too!

lrbodine said...

I am in shock that someone would react that way to a mother. Then again, people love to make comments without thinking! I agree with Natalie - your kids are lucky to have you on their side. And my heart melts that there are good kids that offer their friendship to Reagan. Those pictures were adorable!

Julie said...

What sweet kids (yours and Reagan's classmates). I loved those pictures! Your kids are great and you're a great mom.

Jessica said...

hey -- how old is scarlett, and how did you get her diagnosed? i'm certain that jane has ADD and as i've been reading up on it, i'm also realizing that i think I have it and ethan as well. just manifested in a different form than jane's. hers is totally an attention deficit, whereas i think for me and ethan it's more of the hyperactivity, too. i'm almost finished reading "driven to distraction," and it has been awesome. have you read it? do you have any other recommendations for books to read up on it, etc.?

you are a GREAT mom and you're kids are blessed to have you.

Master P said...

You have awesome kids and you are awesome. That's all.

Emily Curfew said...

Heidi you have one of the biggest hearts i know! and without knowing your children as well as i'd like (i only know them via the blog unfortunately!!!) i'd bet they genetically inherit your big heart, too :)

Lindsey said...

You are awesome. Your family is awesome. That's all there is to it. Amen and amen.

Julie said...

It's amazing how far a little kindness can go. I'm glad those girls took the time to search out the one :)

Debbie J said...

What a great mom you are!.....and a great example to all no matter the genetics within their child! Aren't we all different? ...and I believe that is a good thing! I would offer to clean your house if I were a few hours closer!

Debbie J said...

What a great mom you are!.....and a great example to all no matter the genetics within their child! Aren't we all different? ...and I believe that is a good thing! I would offer to clean your house if I were a few hours closer! Btw....this doesn't connect to my real blog... Daydreamsandreality.blogspot.com

Laura said...

I always get excited when I see a new blog post from you. This one really touched my heart bc I can really relate. :) what things are you doing in the summer to stay sane? This is a hard time for me bc it is difficult to take Logan anywhere. Im hesitant to take him to play dates bc he doesnt always play well with others, and can be a nightmare anywhere in public. But at the same time I know I need to get him out for interaction with others, and bc ill go crazy if we are cooped up at home.

Jess said...

I just love your sense of humor...and your perspective. That makes a world of difference. Love you guys.