Sunday, January 11, 2009

Consolation of raising a special child--or is it?

Meghan still loves Barney, you know the big purple dinosaur… although I've noticed that the show has new kids from when she used to watch it--years ago, and as I’m listening to it right now from down the hall, I hear a new Barney voice as well. Oh, nothing stays the same--well almost nothing, but Meghan couldn’t care less, she’s jumping around to Barney and the music as she did when she was still a baby sitting in her walker--just bouncing around with the same big smile on her face. Even though she’s now 13, it’s still cute as hell to hear and watch. A child who can do more for herself than she could as a baby, and learning math and spelling, and long since has learned to write her name, still finds Barney a great joy.

Every time I see moments like these, from either one of my kids, I can’t help thinking that these are the moments that mothers (parents) of typical kids can’t relate to or identify with—among other things; it’s kind of like a weird consolation to having a child with autism and other developmental disabilities; that there is a piece of them, an innocence that may never mature—and likewise, child-like behaviors that a parent will never tire of; but, also, a fine, fine line of crossing over to a damnable offense, and an unsettling future.


Em said...

I often find it very unsettling when Son18 finds such pleasure in things that, by most standards, he should have "outgrown". I resist those standards because why should we all have to live to the same standards. And yet, I know society will judge. So just how long can a boy/man play with legos?

babs m said...

I'm pleased from time to time that while Little Miss, at 9, prefers Dora and Diego, which she understands thoroughly, and is emotionally on the level of, that she will watch other shows with us that are more age appropriate. We try to guide her into those whenever we can. Her Aspie older brother is 13 and prefers SpongeBob to almost anything.

And as for Legos? Between those and Transformers, I don't think little boys ever get too old--even at 50+!!

Mama Mara said...

Did you ever see the documentary, Today's Man about the 21-year-old with Asperger's who loved Mr. Rogers? While his taste may not have matured, his ability to apply the "tao" of Mr. Rogers did grow up with him somewhat. He said that he hoped to marry someday, a woman who, as Mr. R would say, "was fancy on the inside, not just the outside". I loved that.

P.S. My 12-year-old still loves Wee Sing videos, but he also loves gangsta rap.

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

The lingering innocence is touching, and I do enjoy it. Nigel loves Disney's Toy Story as much as he did when he was 4, probably even more. But I also worry about the future - his innocence makes him so vulnerable.