Tuesday, February 9, 2010

#30 A Question of Words

My other blog, Questioning my Intelligence, touches on the topic of autism today, and today's question stems from that essay.

Has anyone shared kind words with you? Sometimes, it seems that parents of children with autism only get dirty looks and criticism from others, but I know that there are people in the world who share kind words and smiles, too. Today, let's share those stories...either of kind words you've given to others or kind words someone has given to you.

One day about a year ago, a woman who works at our church preschool stopped me and shared a story. She had helped a friend by watching her children one morning. One of the children was autistic, and the experience helped her see just a bit of what parents of kids on the spectrum deal with day to day. Her friend had a hard time finding someone to watch her kids and really had appreciated the help.

The preschool mom knew Jack wasn't as severely affected as this other child, but she told me that if I ever needed someone to watch him, even on the spur of the moment, to call her.

I'd recently been dealing with the fact that a neighbor didn't want Jack in her house because he makes too much noise. At least, that's what she said. To have someone reach out to me with such a generous offer really helped assuage some of the annoyance and hurt I was feeling.

What kind words have you heard or given? What effect did they have? What keeps you from speaking kind words when you can?


JoLynn said...

Lately, I have had people showering me with offers to babysit. Not just "people," but persons with experience and training with whom I would actually consider leaving my children. That is such a good feeling considering it's a scary thing to think about doing. Our family isn't around here, and I don't want to overburden my friends (although they would never say they feel that way... we go out once a millennium).

I think it helps that I am a teacher. My colleagues are extremely sympathetic. I most appreciate when someone with a "neurotypical" child tells me that their kid does what mine is doing. I embrace the "normal" at those moments.

Anonymous said...

While shopping at Health Foods unlimited, my daugther reached out of a shoping cart and a jar of organic tomato sauce feel onto the floor, I felt that rush of embarrassment. I asked who I should pay for the dammage, the woman working that isle, just waved her hand and kindly told me not to worry about it. It wasn't just that I didn't have to pay for it, but that she didn't eye me as an irresponsable mom. That was kind.

Sharon (Stitches on Mars) said...

Hi Susan,

When finishing up at Kinder, several of the mothers said how rewarding it had been for them and their children to have Liam in the group. It was lovely knowing that they saw Liam's inclusion as a positive experience.

A lovely lady at occasional care used to put Liam on the list for the day's childcare even when I haven't rung in time.

He also broke something at the entrance to a gift store. I was worried about him hurting himself on the fragments, knocking something else over and finding out how much it cost so I could pay for the damage. The staff were extremely kind and not only told me not to worry about paying for it....they also cleaned up the glass fragments while I kept Liam away. I really did appreciate that thoughtfulness.

Hugs, Sharon

tinamarie said...

We did recently by one of Tony's teachers.
She was reading back through his file from it first started and she could not believe how much he has grown and 'improved'. She told us that everything we did and the services we fought for for him really paid off and we did a fabulous job of parenting him. I had tears.