Wednesday, June 07, 2006


In case you were wondering, yes, I do have a second child. Andy is a beautiful, normal 2-year-old. The difference between Andy and Joey is sometimes startling. Sometimes the similarities are startling. And sometimes I wonder if I am getting to enjoy Andy and his amazing growing up like I should, since I spend so much time with Joey.

Sometimes I wonder what other people dream of for their children. I have forgotten much of what I was hoping for when Joey was two. Was I dreaming of him growing up, falling in love, getting married, having a good job? Was I hoping for a good college, a nice car, maybe a little house where I could watch my grandchildren? I don't remember wanting these things, or even thinking about them. I think I was trying to imagine him in a preschool and playing T-ball, but I'm not sure now. Since most of the parents I know are also "special ed", its hard to say what “normal” parents want for their kids.

And yet, though I am a “special ed” mom, I’m also a “normal” mom. I’m going to get to negotiate the world from both ends. Yet I’m not sure what I want for Andy is what other parents want. I am want him to feel loved and know I am so proud of him, even if I am spending more time working with Joey. I am him to know he is so special, too. I don’t want his primary self-image to be one of Brother of an Autistic Person, or Special Ed Sibling. I want him to have his own world and his own world view, and not be swallowed by Joey’s disability. I want his role as Joey’s brother to be like any other brother.

What do normal parents dream of and hope for?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Nothing like the sound of a scream in the morning

One of the problems with living with an autistic child is you get a lot of screaming. When Joey gets frustrated with me not understanding him, he screams right in my face. As in, he gets as close as he possibly can to my face, and screams with all the power in his lungs. It was old the first time it happened. Its a daily occurance, because Joey's handle on language is shaky at best. Sometimes it makes me mad- more because I know he's getting frustrated than at the screaming itself. Sometimes I get angry at the screaming itself. Sometimes I get angry because if he could just calm down for a second, I could take care of the problem. But usually I get upset because its just one of those reminders that not only is Joey disabled, but that disability is making him suffer- he WANTS to do teh right thing. He WANTS to understand. He just can't, and its frustrating him to teh point of screaming!

I don't think I know anyone who hasn't been frustrated to teh point of wanting to scream now and again. But every day? Can you even imagine feeling that way EVERY DAY, often several times a day, ALL the time?