Growing Up Special

Thoughts, ramblings, and encouragement from a special need sibling to the world

New Site! August 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittanyk1 @ 6:07 pm

I am very excited to tell you all that I have a new website for my blog! From now on, everything will be done over there.

Check out and let me know what you think!


Embarrasment? Nah… July 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittanyk1 @ 12:09 am

Sometimes, Alyssa’s need for order and structure is hilarious. Tonight, we were at Red Robin when she noticed a balloon had floated up to the ceiling. She kept looking at it and making comments such as “Why is that balloon up there?” “They need to get it down.” “It’s not supposed to be there!”

As much as I tried to distract her, she simply was not able to ignore something that was clearly out of place. Finally, she flagged down a waitress.

“‘Scuse me. Why is that balloon up there?”

“Well… they just get stuck up there sometimes. Then at night, we have to pop them all.”

“Oh. That’s so saaaad.”

I just laugh. When I was younger, though, I would be embarrassed by some of the things that Alyssa said or did. Some of my younger siblings still get embarrassed at times. But that’s not right. Instead, we should realize that Alyssa–like the rest of us–is simply living her life to the fullest. And there is nothing embarrassing about that.


I know I haven’t been posting as regularly lately. I am going to set a date and say that by August 1st, that will change. Thanks for your patience in the meantime. 🙂


I need you… July 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittanyk1 @ 4:26 pm

So… I feel like I have been horrible at updating this blog recently.  I’ve posted somewhat regularly, but I don’t think my posts have been well thought out or very useful to others.

That’s why I’m asking for your help.  Do you have any ideas for me to blog about?  Things you’d like to learn about, resources I should review, topics I should cover, etc?  I want to learn through this blog as well, so don’t worry about recommending things that might take some research.  I’m up for the challenge!

Your help is very much appreciated. 🙂


Firecrackers! July 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittanyk1 @ 5:00 am

With the Fourth of July and Alyssa’s birthday immediately following, Alyssa has a favorite quote for this time of year.

“I want to be a firecracker when I grow up!”

Don’t worry, Alyssa. I think you’re quite the firecracker already! 🙂


The Fourth July 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittanyk1 @ 5:00 am

The Fourth of July is a special day in our family. It just happens to be the day before Alyssa’s birthday. Since the two days are so close, we just always celebrate Alyssa’s birthday on the Fourth. She thinks the fireworks and the entire celebration is just for her. 🙂

Here is a picture of Alyssa, myself, and my brother on a past Fourth of July. It’s all Alyssa… she loves her flags, her hats, her holiday attire. I miss her this time of year.


Blessed July 1, 2011

A couple months ago, I posted this poem and mentioned that it was similar to one we had framed in our house and signed by Alyssa. Well, when I was home for Alyssa’s graduation, that poem held a place of honor among her awards and accomplishments. So here it is in the original. 🙂

Blessed are you who take the time to listen to difficult speech, for you help me to know that if I persevere, I can be understood.

Blessed are you who never bid me to “hurry up” or take my tasks from me and do them for me, for I often need time rather than help.

Blessed are you who stand beside me as I enter new and untried ventures, for my failures will be outweighed by the times I surprise myself and you.

Blessed are you who asked for my help, for my greatest need is to be needed.

Blessed are you who understand that it is difficult for me to put my thoughts into words.

Blessed are you who with a smile, encourage me to try once more.

Blessed are you who never remind me that today I asked the same question twice.

Blessed are you who respect me and love me just as I am.


The Smallest Things June 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittanyk1 @ 6:30 am

I was watching another episode of the TV show that depicts a young boy with Asberger’s.   Max decides he wants to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.  What is fairly normal for most 10/11 year old kids becomes a huge ordeal as his parents ask all the neighbors to replace the jack-o-lantern candles with glow sticks so as not to frighten Max, make a list of ‘safe’ houses, and carefully prepare a Halloween that he can enjoy.

Now, we haven’t celebrated Halloween at our house in a very long time and even if we did, I doubt Alyssa would have a problem.  But I kind of know how that is.

There are many simplest things…  that turn out to be not-so-simple. For us, it’s things like…

Going to the library.

Driving by a Redbox.

Stopping at the post office.

Grocery shopping.

The simplest things have to be prepped for, talked about, worked up to, carefully navigated, and then there’s still a chance that everything could go south in a minute and you end up with a full-blown tantrum or meltdown on your hands.

Now that I’m out on my own, it’s actually quite remarkable to drop by the library or the store anytime without having to take that all into account.

What are the simple things for you?  What is it in your family that should be easy, but isn’t?  Or if you don’t have a special needs someone in your life… what is it that is so simple, you can’t imagine it becoming a chore?