Growing Up Special

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

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.


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! 🙂


It’s Happening!!! June 3, 2011

Given the fact that (barring the miraculous), Alyssa will never go to college, get married, or achieve other ‘normal’ life steps, graduating from high school is probably THE biggest event of her life.

And boy, has she made the most of it!

She has been talking about her graduation for months. Every time we were on the phone, she asked if I was coming to her graduation. When she meets people now, her new line is “Hi, my name is Alyssa, I’m 21, and I’m graduating!” She passed out hundreds of invitations to all of her many friends. She is having three parties to celebrate (two down, one to go!). These last couple months have been filled with preparations for Alyssa’s graduation celebration.

And now… it’s here.

Yesterday morning was the senior breakfast and graduation rehearsal from 7:30am to 10:30am. Last night was supposed to be a ‘small’ party at school that ended up with quite the turnout. Friday is a little bit of a breather as we prepare for Saturday’s graduation and party!!!

Graduation is a big step for anyone. For Alyssa, it’s all the bigger as it’s a step we never expected her to make. And we’re going to celebrate every second of it!

Graduation Party Number One: Party with the cousins! (L - R: Shayla, Jordan, and Alyssa!)

Graduation Party Number Two: A glimpse of the party in action!


Trial… or blessing? May 20, 2011

“There is absolutely no experience, however terrible, or heartbreaking, or unjust, or cruel, or evil, which you can meet in the course of your earthly life, that can harm you if you will but let me teach you how to accept it with joy and react to it triumphantly as I did Myself, with love and forgiveness and with willingness to bear the results of wrong done by others. Every trial, every test, every difficulty and seemingly wrong experience through which you may have to pass, is only another opportunity granted to you of conquering an evil thing and bringing out of it something to the lasting praise and glory of God.”

~Mountains of Spices, Hannah Hurnard

Sometimes, life is hard. It is good to remember that every trial ultimately brings blessing; ‘something to the lasting praise and glory of God.’  Do you doubt it?

Just think… can you imagine this world without the

beauty of special needs people?

Neither can I.

So glory in the hard times you may have with your special needs sibling.  Something great and good would be missing from your life without them.


Alyssa-ism’s May 16, 2011

I love talking to Alyssa. She always says the most awesome/amusing/downright hilarious things.

For example, the other night she was showing me (over Skype) how awesome her sunglasses were. I asked to see them closer, but she informed me:

“I have to keep them on my head!!!”
(Of course, I asked why?)
“Because I WOSE (lose) dem.”

That makes sense to me!

And this one was just too sweet.

“You just made my day for the rest of my life.”


Ten Things, Part 7 April 22, 2011

This series of posts on “Ten Things” is based on the article “Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew.

”Please focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do.”

Alyssa is a unique individual with gifts and talents that no one else has.  Just like every other child or adult with special needs.

Of Alyssa’s many gifts (laughter, unconditional love, a great memory, etc), there is one story I love the most.

We were visiting a new church in Kansas.  As always, Alyssa sat and colored pictures during the entire service.  It was (and still is) her practice to design all sorts of pictures to give out after church.  Well, this particular day was no exception.  The problem was, we did not know one single person at this church.

That didn’t stop Alyssa, though!  After the service ended, she made a beeline for the corner of the building about as far away as she could get from where we were sitting.  She found some lady, a complete stranger, gave her all the pictures she had colored, and gave her a huge hug.  By the time we had found her, this stranger was in tears.  She was practically bawling and just kept saying “You have no idea how much I needed this today.  No idea.  No idea.”

It was a beautiful picture of one of Alyssa’s gifts… one I’ve never seen exhibited by anyone else.  She has an uncanny ability to find those who are hurting and minister to their soul without ever speaking a word.

And that is one special gift.