Thursday, January 30, 2014

Parent Liaison Part 1

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Does Rylie Have Aww-tism?

A few weeks ago, I was explaining to Hayden that I was going to a parent meeting, and that I would be back after he was asleep.

Hayden:  What's a parent meeting?
Me:  Well, I will talk with other parents about ideas to help me be a good mom.
Hayden: But what do you do?
Me: Well, we talk about Autism.

Hayden:  What's... Aww-timssm?
Me:  Well, Hayden has Autism. It makes you different. It makes you able to do some things really well, and have trouble with other things. Like you are really good at spinning things. But you have trouble paying attention some times.
Hayden:  Hmm. Ok.

And he moves on.  We've had this conversation many times. He never seems to remember that he has Autism, or what it is. It's too abstract a concept. Or maybe I'm not explaining it well.

Then last week, while we were eating, out of the blue Hayden asked,
"Does Rylie have...(pause)... Aww-tissum?"


He remembers that he has it.

And he wants to know if Rylie has it, too.

Me: Um, no, Rylie doesn't have Autism.

Hayden looked sad. And scared.

He said, "But I'm the only one!"
Me:  No honey, lots of kids have Autism. Like your friends (C) and (O).
Hayden: Oh.  (Still looking sad.)

Me:  But Rylie has Mitochondrial Dysfunction. It's called Mito for short. She can't eat lots of foods. That's something she struggles with. She has a special diet, and takes vitamins, and goes to the doctor.
Hayden, brightening: She does?

Me:  Yeah, and I have a peanut allergy, and anxiety, and my eyes aren't very good. And lots of other things. I take vitamins to help me feel better, too.
Joe:  Yeah, I have (xyz-lmnop thing that he said but I don't remember).  : )
Hayden: Oh... OK!  (Now he's smiling).

Me:  We all have things that we're good at, and things we need help with.
Hayden:  But what am I good at?  (almost getting sad again)
Me:  Well, you're good at spinning things, remember?  And reading... and helping your sister.
Joe:  You're really good at Math, Hayden.
Hayden: Yeah and dancing!  (Said with a huge smile on his face, and a dance move to go with it.)

Yes, and dancing.  

And making me smile. Every day.

My little boy is waking up from Autism more and more each day. I love each and every bit of you, and your sweet sister.

Thank you dear Hayden, for reminding us to take a moment sometimes, for dancing.