Yesterday I shared a speech I'd delivered a few months ago which covered among many other things the things that alerted me to investigating the development of my J (who at the time of the speech was the only one of my children to have an Autism diagnosis but of course we now know that Hunter also has a similar diagnosis).
Those who follow my blog will know I am the writer and creator of My Special Story Books for Special Kids http//myspecialstory.weebly.com and that the books I write highlight that our kids are so so much more than their diagnosis.
After yesterday's long post outlining the whole life story and the journey we took as a family to wind up here I thought I'd keep this post simple and as short as humanly possible for a waffler like me. J's diagnosis changed our lives as a family on the 8th of August 2008 (080808). A date I'll never forget. Who were we before then? Who was he before then? Who were we all on 070808? Who did we become 090808? A piece of paper with the word Autism written on it by a childhood development "expert" had redefined us all, not just my beautiful boy. I didn't know much more about Autism back then aside from the stereotypes we are all familiar with like Rainman for example. Obviously I know more than Rainman now and because I realised my children are totally different to Rainman and the boy in the movie, The Black Balloon and any other film made about Autism, I created my stories to raise awareness that ALL children are different.
In line with the books I love to write for the kids I love to write for I am going to list all the things that make my boys who they are outside of their diagnosis.
J is a hurricane of energy, noise, enthusiasm and noise... Did I say noise? He loves to run, climb, dance, jump, slide, yell and tackle life in a blur of activity and speed. He loves his trampoline, his computer and Thomas the Tank Engine. Although I suspect he is starting to grow out of kind, affable and gentle Thomas as I notice a developing interest in the old fashioned cartoons emerging.... I think Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry may just be the new favourite shows of choice these days and Thomas only gets a sneaky look in when my J feels a little bit anxious after a busy day at preschool and needs the slow and steady style of kind accepting Thomas always triumphing over the troubles and tribulations of a day on Sodor. Obviously he is a very wise boy who knows just what he needs when looking for a metaphor for life if things have been a bit difficult to understand over the day for him in his world of confusion about the social politics amongst the other small folk he goes to preschool with.
J is bossy in very charming and endearing way that makes no sense but I assure you is true. He wraps women (even the smaller preschool variety) around his long, fine fingers that reside on his lean and lanky little boy's body with a mass of dark curls on the top of his very pretty head and the widest smile in the land. He is joyful, funny and very very clever.
Right at this second he is on top of the dining room table which he of course climbed upon in his bashing and crashing style and directing orders from atop his self proclaimed "mountain" because he "is king of the castle" in his imaginary game he is playing with his little brother who has been deemed a lowly pleb who is only allowed to enter the pretend castle after performing a myriad of peasant duties like fetching Daddy's cap to put on J's head as the crown for the game among other things.
Which brings me to H. Ah my H. He is such a complicated cat. I blogged about his emerging independence a few days ago so have a look here to find out more about that. For the most part H is a shy boy with big brown eyes and fine light curls that make him look angelic which pretty much allows him to get away with ANYTHING! This child looks like butter would not melt in his mouth and he knows it. It is impossible to fathom that he could ever be "naughty" which is exactly why he is so talented at being just that and making everybody who witnesses it giggle with delight when he does too in a proud moment of getting away with EVERYTHING.
H loves climbing, riding his trike down our hill, cuddles, his teddy, his soft toy bunny and most of all he LOVES loves loves LOVES Sam, Anthony, Murray (Muwway as he says it) and Jeff. H LOVES The Wiggles. Between fetching crowns for his brothers royal head and bringing various snacks to King Jackson, Hunter is dancing and singing along to the musical stylings of The Wiggles with great gusto and obvious adoration.
It's been such a lovely relaxed morning observing them being who they are through my eyes that see beyond a label. I truly hope that by raising awareness more people will try and look a bit deeper through their eyes too.
So I'll wrap it up now and say a quick apology for waffling again and not keeping this short as promised. That's what makes my boys so much more than their diagnoses. That's what makes them unique, different and anything but a label.
Uh oh..... Poor peasant H is being threatened with exile from the kingdom now as it seems King J has not received the latest request of his fiddlers three or whatever other equally impossible desire in a kingly or timely fashion......... Just a pair of typical brothers really.
Looks like the Kingdom needs to appoint a diplomat in the form of a Mummy to sort out citizen relations.
Bye for now. :-)