Friday, November 5, 2010

Thankful That We Are Not Alone - Guest #4

This was a bloggy friendship formed by this very blog. Missy and I share the unexpected lives brought us by our "Special Gifts."

I read her blog that she contributes to Dakota Recipes and get the munchies regularly. They are all easy and most look very kid-friendly. I have decided to take this blog with me to the grocery so I can actually try some of them... :)

She has a personal blog that I thoroughly enjoy. Life Ain't Always Beautiful. It is literally a little bit of everything. Pictures, reflections, stories,'s like hanging out with a friend.

Please welcome Missy's reflections on her Munchkin Prince:

"My son "The Munchkin Prince" is autistic. He's at the lower end of the spectrum. He can communicate, but it's hard for him think and formulate words into sentences that are logical to everyone. There are a lot of times where I can't even understand him and his wants. It's at those times that I find myself the most frustrated.

The Munchkin Prince was born in April of 2006. He was long over due and was finally born after a LONG 30 some hour labor. I thought that he was perfect. I loved his beautiful little blue eyes and his sweet personality. I just fell in love with him.

When he was about 18 months old, some of our family members started commenting on his behavior. Particularly the fact that he didn't talk. Some family members just said he had trained us to spoil him and that we needed to force him to talk. Try forcing a kid to ask for a sippy cup when they can't - really, I dare ya!

The first time I heard the word autistic it was from a friend of mine that works with social services. She looked straight at me and told me that she thought he was autistic. I waited until she left and then freaked out. I got on the net and Googled everything about autism and noticed that he met a lot of the qualifications for it.

A short time later his pre-school teacher and his education team decided to have him tested for autism. Needless to say, I was not surprised with the results of the test. It broke my heart. I felt like a failure as a parent.

Now the Munchkin Prince is in the first grade and doing fairly well with his spelling and some his work. He doesn't read and is really lacking in in his social skills, but he has really improved since starting school. He hates noise. He doesn't like to be in a crowded room. He's really shy and quiet and withdrawn. The issue we are having right now that scares me the most is his lack of understanding for his safety. Apparently he tries to leave school by himself and walks in the wrong direction and down the middle of the street.

He also tends to throw gigantic fits which are not only embarrassing but I find it hard to tolerate other people's opinions about them. He's a kid. He's not normal. I'm not normal. Our family is not normal. And I didn't ask for your opinion.

Not that I won't welcome the opinions of other parents with children with special needs. I just don't see a need for strangers to offer condescending advice when they don't have a clue about our situation."


  1. A recurring theme, I hear, throughout this blog is a plea for grace and kindness from the broader community. . . for parents who have not walked your journey to understand that the typical approaches surely can't "fix" the atypical. What you long for is a caring spirit that comes alongside and encourages helps to make the load a bit lighter. "in a nutshell" - Ecc 4:9-12. The richness of your words nudge us in that challenge.

  2. I'm curious as to if you wanted to shoot the messenger?
    As a general rule, I try to keep my mouth shut about the development of other people's children unless it is an area in which I have specific first hand knowledge or was asked my opinion. Even then, I tread lightly.
    Your friend took a giant risk in being that bold with you. She must love you and your son very much.

  3. oh my word, oh my word. I relate to this blog more than anything. When my son still couldn't say "juice" some "friends" suggested it was because we needed to refuse him juice until he could say it, and because we never bothered to teach sign language. I've tried to mentally block all the ignorant comments out. great post!

  4. I'm also curious, do you tell people that he is autistic? That usually is a great way to shut people up and be more gracious.

  5. That's funny- I had the same question as Lynn! it is a double edged sword to observe other kids behavior- I usually wait until invited! I have to work hard not to get defensive about any behaviors that my daughter has so I can relate to that. But on the other hand I kind of crave others objectivity so that I can hear how others view her too - a dilemma. great post!

  6. I actually don't tend to tell people who are not part of our group of friends and family that he is autistic. I don't feel that his autism should make a difference in the way that they have made snap judgments about his behavior. I feel that it isn't really any of their businesses. If they are judgmental enough to think that he is a "bad egg" on by first impression then they don't deserve the right to know who he really is. It's more like a privilege that is rarely granted to people. Maybe that makes me over protective by that’s my right to do so.

  7. Thank you for your post! My son has Down syndrome, and we deal a lot with his awareness of his safety. He just runs out of rooms or walks into the road. He is pretty much always with me, but I worry that when he starts school in five months, that he might get lost. I'm sure his teachers will take good care of him, but he's my baby!