Growing Up Special

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

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?

 

Life Adventures June 24, 2011

Filed under: Life,Special Graduation — brittanyk1 @ 6:30 am
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Loving on Gramma after graduation. =)

 

Bad day? No excuse June 22, 2011

As Alyssa shops, she also greets all the people she knows. One individual we met while shopping was Mrs. Memmalink, the school counselor. She told us her favorite “Alyssa story.”

One morning, Alyssa came into school and you could tell from the moment she walked in the door that she was having a bad morning. She stomped in, glaring at everyone she passed.

As she walked by, Mrs. Memmalink said “Good morning, Alyssa!”

Alyssa turned and glared at her. Before stomping off, however, she said in a tone of disgust, “You look very LOVELY today.”

Mrs. Memmalink says it was the best reminder she’s had that no matter how bad a day we may be having, we can always take time to say something nice to others. 🙂

 

Peter Pan June 20, 2011

Filed under: Life,Quotes,Special Ramblings — brittanyk1 @ 6:30 am
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To LIVE would be an awfully big adventure.


Alyssa lives like that.  Every single moment of every single day is filled with pure magic.  For Alyssa, LIFE itself is an awfully big adventure.  And she inspires me to look at just living as an ‘awfully big adventure.’

 

96 Cents June 17, 2011

Another Alyssa story… a follow-up from last Saturday’s post on the dark after morning.

We were at the grocery store one Friday and Alyssa honed in on the movies. If you know Alyssa, you know she LOVES movies. If you don’t know Alyssa… well, it’s time you learned that she LOVES movies. 🙂 She’s addicted. She will carry around old VHS tapes, even though we have no way to play them, just because she loves them so much.

Well, she found a Beethoven DVD on sale and she was DETERMINED that she was going to get that video. However, we had to tell her no.

Alyssa does not take well to the answer ‘no’ when it comes to movies. So we started talking. I talked to her, then Momma talked to her, then I talked to her some more. Nothing was going to convince her to leave that movie. She started getting grumpy. Then she started getting mad. Then she started pushing and pulling and pinching. All in all, it was very quickly deteriorating into a full-blown, all-out tantrum in the grocery store.

(Random sidenote: if this had been the ‘regular’ grocery store in Granby, I wouldn’t have worried so much. Most people know Alyssa and they are understanding and probably won’t call the police or security or think we’re horrible people. Isn’t it awesome to have a place like that? Anyway… this happened to be an unfamiliar grocery store in Denver. As a result, I was kind of hoping we could get out without a tantrum).

Well, we were all buying candy bars and I had asked Alyssa several times if she wanted one. She always said no, she was getting a movie. But in a last ditch effort to avoid that tantrum, I told her all about how wonderful and yummy those candy bars were. I told her how awesome it would be if she could eat one. After a few minutes, she reluctantly laid down the movie and picked up a candy bar.

By the time we paid for it, she was beaming! She bounced outside and shouted “Mommy! Look what I got!!!”

My mom made a comment about me ‘giving in’ or ‘bribing.’ She was probably right. But when I saw how happy and cheerful everyone was and contrasted that with the alternative of a several hour kicking, screaming, all-out tantrum… I decided I was okay with that.

I also think that was the best spent 96 cents EVER.

 

Win Friends, Influence People June 15, 2011

Another “Alyssa story.”

Every time I went to the grocery store with Alyssa, I was introduced to more of Alyssa’s friends. Turns out, she knows most of the town. And when she found someone she didn’t know, this conversation ensued.

A: “Hi! My name is Alyssa Barden! I’m 21 and I’m gwaduating from high school. What is your name?”

Random store worker looks up from unloading onions.

“Um… my name is Paul.”

A: “HI PAUL! Can I shake your hand?”

Walks over to where he is and shakes his hand.

A: “It’s good to meet you.”

Continues shopping.

I think I need to take lessons from her on how to win friends and influence people.

 

Dark after morning… June 11, 2011

After the morning, comes the night.

Wait, that’s not how it goes? Oh well, it’s how life works sometimes.

After all the parties, celebrations, amazing time with family, and the crowning accomplishment of Alyssa’s life… there had to be some repercussions. 🙂 And there have been. It hasn’t been absolutely horrible and it’s pretty understandable. Alyssa was completely worn out from all the visitors and parties. (As you’ll see when I finally post some pictures, she looked pretty shell-shocked with all the busy-ness).

So on Tuesday morning (the day after all the company left and life finally got back to normal), Alyssa woke up on the wrong side of bed. We had to go to Denver for Alyssa’s doctor appointment that day. Problem: Alyssa refused to go. She was fine when we got in the car to head down to Denver. But once we got there, she wouldn’t budge any farther than a few feet from the car. The tantrum continued for several hours before she got over it.

On Wednesday, she was just generally cranky. The last couple of days have been better, with just a periodic meltdown.

Well, all that to say… you never know what the day will bring when you have a special needs person in your life! 🙂