Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Oh Dear! (Journal #40)
I have decided, as a way to reframe some of the challenges that go along with raising a child with Autism, to put our experiences into a frame of faith. That with each "praise or concern" that occur on this journey, that we take a look at it as it relates to the cross in our family life.
So, without further ado, I share with you my first attempt...
...we were driving to Sam's speech therapy session, when the funniest part of my day occured. I was driving in the parking lot of the medical center where he goes. Sam was buckled in the backseat of course. I stopped for a moment to wait for a lady to cross the street to the building. She stood for a moment, and then I gestured to her with my hand for her to cross. But as with any typical "Laura moment", I can never just do something in silence, I also have to speak. So, with all of our windows rolled up tight, I said to the lady as I motioned, "Go ahead dear". Expecting that she would hear me, NOT! But big ears in the backseat did.
Sam immediately yelled at me, "Mom! Dat's not nice!"
"Sam, what's not nice?"
"You tan't tall her dat!" he said with major attitude.
"Sam, call her what?"
"Not deer!" He yelled.
"Who's not dear?" I said.
"You talled her deer."
I finally went, "duh" to myself, realizing that he thought I called the girl a deer, when I said, go ahead dear. I started to smirk. Wanting to push him a little to see if that was for sure.
"Yes Sam, I said to her...go ahead dear, so she would cross the street" intentionally not focussing on the dear portion to see what would come next.
"Mom...you talled her a name, no names, mean mom. See not a deer!" I am so chuckling to myself! I love him so much. I am immediately taken back to one of the first times Brent and I met with our pediatrician, Dr. Kuperman, shortly after Sam was diagnosed. He reminded us that we need to speak without sarcasm, and to say exactly what we mean, without extra words and such. That children with autism interpret things very literally. This was one of those times that I love the "literallnes" (if such a word) of it all. It is so darn cute. Okay, back to my boy....
so I say, "Sam, some people say dear, meaning they like them, like a friend. So it was like I said go ahead friend, cross the street. Or sometimes people say oh dear, like oh my goodness. I didn't say it to be mean."
I looked at his face in the rearview mirror. He was super serious. His eyebrows straight across as he stared out the window. There was a lengthy period of silence. Then he said with one final request. "Don't tall her deer no more, not nice. Miss Telly said no names." Miss Kelly, his special education teacher. Sam is in a LEAP program that is highly focussed in social skills training. Every week they focus on new skills and practice them while playing. Being a kind friend is a focus this month, and according to Sam, I need some practice! Oh Dear!
A Twist of Faith...
In the way Sam views things so simply and literally, makes me almost jealous sometimes. We as humans, can add such complexity to life by analyzing, rethinking, trying to interpret, instead of just seeing things and enjoying them for the way they are. To fill blessed for the simple things in life, for simple understanding, for simple but serious faith. Thank you God for the way you lead Sam in teaching our family. Life is too short to make it complicated.
Take your everyday, ordinary life- your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life- and place it before God as an offering. ~Romans 12:1