special needs kids
It was bittersweet watching my friend's daughter take her bow as one of the graduating seniors. Now that she is 21, she is ready to leave the safety of school and join the community as an active member.
The series is titled 'Defined by Our Hearts.'
I've never been comfortable using words that soften things. When my kids ask me a question, I give them the most honest answer that I think they're able to handle.
Kate has autism. She loves Ninja Turtles and kicking dirt. She loves her dog and just about everyone she meets. She's recently taken an interest in photography, and she'd like to share some of her photos with you. I think you'll be impressed.
"Look at that mother up there with that little blonde kid," barked the middle-aged woman in the red dress. "Who does she think she is? There isn't a thing wrong with that child!"
Without you, autism awareness is an exclamation without a point, or a balloon without enough air. It is lacking. Because without you, the breathtakingly unusual person in your life would simply drift -- it is you who keeps him or her or them afloat and buoyant.
Some days are going to be tough. You are going to fall into bed at the end of them and be amazed that you survived! But you will survive those days, and there will be so many wonderful, happy, love-filled days that will far outnumber the tough ones in the end.
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The thing is, I can say with great certainty that if Archie had been a typical child, she would not have even looked twice. In fact, she may have even thought, too bad, punk. But because Archie has Down syndrome, in her mind, he needed to be let off the hook. Um, no.
There are times he comes out to tell you "the man helped me." With the sink, with the paper towels, with the door. Never a concern on his face. Never a problem breathed.