March 30, 2011
This Friday night in New York a documentary film will be airing called Wretches and Jabberers (I know, it sounds like something that would have been broadcast on PBS twenty years ago). Despite its strange title, the movie is actually focused on a subject that, to my intense delight, is becoming more and more mainstream in the press. Its protagonists are Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette of Vermont, and the film documents the struggles and triumphs of two adults with autism who remain all or mostly non-verbal, yet still have a great deal to communicate to the world.
And yes, if I had a life, I’d schlep in to see it.
Directed by Academy Award Winner Gerardine Wurzburg, the film follows both men on a tour of Sri Lanka, Japan, and Finland, as they speak with both “everyday folk” and Buddhist monks in an attempt to change peoples’ opinions regarding disability, intelligence, and modes of communication. Bissonnette possesses some facility with traditional language, Thresher does not. Both struggled in school and within their communities, but had whole worlds opened up to them with the creation of augmentative devices.
Yes, there’s a theme here. My fingers are crossed Justin’s iPad may one day lead to a similar success for him. Let’s just say my toes are crossed too.
When recently asked at a conference by the mother of an eleven-year-old girl with autism what advice the men had to give her, Thresher replied, “That is easy. Believe in their intelligence, presume competence, and most of all don’t sideline them. Make sure they live a life with dignity, having a purpose in life.” That quote particularly resonated with me because my son, although non-verbal, possesses a fierce intelligence, one that might have gone unnoticed twenty, or perhaps even ten years ago. I shudder to envision the trials and tribulations these men must have encountered in childhood, living in a world not yet equipped to celebrate them. I shudder to think if I’d had my son at a “normal” age, this might have been his fate as well.
The director’s motivation for creating the film was to “challenge the general public’s perception about people with different abilities”. She considers this mission to be “both a human rights and civil rights issue”. Through their own accomplishments and Wurzburg’s “voice”, Thresher and Bissonnette have since successfully challenged these presumptions, as the two men formally regarded as “social outcasts” now are popular speakers at workshops and conferences. They have already altered the landscape of disability, simply with their presence.
And to Tracy Thresher, Larry Bissonnette, and Gerardine Wurzburg, a most heartfelt “bravo” for sharing and facilitating a story the world still needs to hear.
Wretches and Jabberers, for those of you who are not NY locals, will be playing at local AMC theatres nationwide on Saturday, April 2nd, World Autism Day.
For more information regarding the film:
Larry Bissonnette: http://www.myclassiclifefilm.com/
March 29, 2011
Today’s Gratitude Attitude is dedicated to all the people participating in this Saturday’s first POAC walk-a-thon, at Lakewood Blueclaws Stadium. My most heartfelt gratitude to all!
In anticipation of everyone’s efforts, I’d also like to say thank you in advance to those who will be turning their porch lights to blue on Saturday, April 2nd (read link here). Thank you so much!
March 27, 2011
It’s not even 2:00 PM on this Saturday afternoon, and already I’m regretting that I didn’t refill my travel pack of “purse Tylenol” for the adventure me, Justin, Zach, and my aunt are about to embark upon. You see, Seussical is playing in my aunt’s school district, and I thought the kids might enjoy the theatrical arts for a change. Justin was going to miss his horseback riding lesson anyhow because the people who run the farm are getting certified for therapeutic riding this weekend, so I figured the play would give me and my oldest something to do that didn’t involve throwing quarters into fake slot machines at the beach. Unfortunately, Justin realized we weren’t schlepping out to his lesson the minute I made a left at a major intersection rather than going straight (he didn’t get his internal GPS from me), and he’s been whining and kicking the back of my seat ever since.
Better add a heating pad to that Tylenol when I get home.
Despite Justin’s angst at the aberration in his Saturday schedule, I’m excited for this afternoon. Zachary loves pretend play, would prefer to have me chase him around the house most days as Rexy-the-medium-sized-dinosaur, or Daddy-the-potato-chip-eating-man, rather than engage with his toys, and I’m pretty certain watching people dressed up in costume and acting out familiar stories on stage will blow his mind. That, coupled with the fact he can be fairly dramatic himself (can’t imagine where he got that from), leads me to believe at least one of my kids is going to get something out of this experience.
I’m actually harboring hope that Justin will rise above this change in plan and give the show a chance, because he really seemed to enjoy the shenanigans of a bunch of elves at Christmas when I took him to his school play, and he is very familiar with the works of Dr. Seuss himself. We only made it to intermission then, and that was by the grace of Ms. M’s fabulous timer (half the school’s staff was in the audience, I felt absolutely NO PRESSURE WHATSOEVER) for Justin to comply with it), but still, he made it to the halfway point with nary a complaint nor cry. Hell, because my aunt is an educator I know we’ll even get rock star seating today, so he’ll be able to see and hear every moment without his almost eight-year-old frame sitting on my lap, which bodes well for his future enjoyment.
Not that I don’t love to cuddle, but I’ve only got forty-five pounds on him now. Literally.
We finally make it to the high school, and my aunt and I luck into parking spots next to one another, Zachary waving wildly to me from the back seat of my aunt’s car, me making note of landmarks so I can find my own vehicle should Justin decline to participate in today’s extravaganza. After grabbing the twelve bags that accompany two small boys we make our way into the building, Justin kvetching in moderate fashion, Zachary excited beyond description. We arrive a bit early just so we could secure those “educator seats” the school had promised would be available, and after dumping our gear in the auditorium, we decide it would be prudent to walk Justin around a bit before the show began. He is decidedly unhappy with our plan, balking at the refreshment stand replete with chocolate but no chips (yes, those fertility doctors swear he is indeed my son), glancing with great disdain at the student artwork fastidiously displayed throughout the halls, annoyed beyond all reason that the girls’ bathroom is unavailable to him, even though I know he doesn’t need to go.
With just two minutes to spare before showtime, we walk/I am dragged back to the auditorium, and I try desperately to convince my seven-year-old he will indeed enjoy an operatic Cat-in-the-Hat, but to no avail. I manage to coerce Justin into sitting down near the entrance, regard my youngest, and inform my aunt her oldest grand-nephew and I are on our way out. I tell Zach that his brother isn’t feeling well (nor is his mother) and that he’s going to stay here and watch the play while Mommy goes home, and I am grateful for the developmental miracle which is the age of four and not three, because he seems absolutely fine with that scenario. My aunt runs back in and grabs our bags for us, and as soon as Justin sees his familiar white-and-red traveling suitcase he relaxes his death grip on my hand, and smiles.
It occurs to me as I watch my youngest son bounce happily back down the aisle to see his very first play, an event which I will now not get to witness, that perhaps I could have forced the issue. Although Justin will most likely mirror the height and stature of his 6’4”inch father he is at this moment technically seven years old, and for the next five minutes at least, I will remain taller than him. I could have given propelling this kid back to his seat a chance, perhaps bribed him with food or juice as I half-carried, half-pulled him back to the front row.
But I won’t, because kids’ families are here to see their progeny perform, and I sense a tantrum of outlandish proportions will ensue. There is no “autism showing” of Seussical, after all.
Justin is delightful all the way back to the SUV I still have trouble locating despite my chosen landmarks. His enthusiasm lasts all the way through my yelling at my husband that this afternoon “SUCKS” and “can’t he find the movie times a BIT faster”, because God forbid I should learn how to use a real phone with the internet on it. When I drive around the perimeter of the mall four consecutive times to kill the extra ten minutes I know I can’t fill in the theater prior to the second time we’ll be viewing Gnomeo and Juliette, I know for sure Justin’s happy with our destination, because he only complains on our last go-around. He is shaking with joy, an enthusiastic response he takes with him into the theater, one which is diminished neither by the fact he’s already seen the first fifty minutes of this film, nor that it’s in 3-D and giving his mother a migraine.
For once, I can’t even enjoy the genius of Elton John.
I quietly regard him as he munches his way happily through his butter-and-salt-laden concoction, really look at him as he bounces up and down slightly in his seat and concentrates on the plot as if we didn’t see this movie two weeks ago. In my mind I replay what we could have done differently to make the day more successful, but short of Donald Trump loaning us his helicopter for the afternoon so I wouldn’t have to make that left onto Rte. 88, I know his new aversion to the theatrical world could not have been thwarted. No social story, no picture schedule, no verbal explanation (nor begging) would have convinced this child to enter that theater once he decided it didn’t contain four-legged creatures with saddles on them. Yes, this stubbornness is most certainly part of autism’s fun accoutrement.
Normally, I’d simply try to reframe the picture, be grateful I’d planned ahead with two separate modes of transportation which enabled my youngest to stay, and be thankful I found an alternative outing for my eldest, who after careful preparation might even make it through the entire film. In general, sucking it up on a daily basis is what I shoot for.
It’s a goal.
Today however, I’m just disgusted. Not with my child, because whatever disconnect is transpiring in his brain is not his fault. He certainly participates in many events which he also regards with mild to moderate disgust, but Seussical is not going to be one of them. No, I’m not angry at him.
But I am mad, not in that insane sense (although some days I wonder if that state-of-mind is on the horizon), but in a primal, pissed-off nothing-will-recover-this-day kind of way. Right now my youngest son is reveling in regarding his feline friend sport a cap of ridiculous proportions on his head, is perhaps cheering on a bird who needs a new tail in order to take wing. I have no doubt he is ensconced on my aunt’s lap with mouth ajar, eyes wide and wondrous at the spectacle, immersed in that world of fantasy he is so good at conjuring for himself. I remind myself that the important thing is that he was able to remain, that he’s enjoying the experience in all of his four-year-old glory.
But I’m missing that glory, and while there will be other productions, there will never again be the first. His first. My son’s first, of what I hope will be a long career at appreciating the fine arts.
And for once I immerse myself in my own disdain, and not-so-quietly in the dimly lit theater, during a spirited rendition of “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”, say aloud the words, “today, autism sucks”.
March 25, 2011
“Where are your presents, Mommy?” my four-year-old inquires with breathless anticipation, because he’s been waiting for this moment ALL DAY, and he’d better get his fix. It’s my forty-fourth birthday (yup, I’m well into the mid-life years, out and proud), and my youngest knows this means gifts will be served to me after a meal I thankfully did not make, and pre-consumption of the deliciously rich chocolate cake I mercifully did not attempt to bake myself either. Birthdays, (particularly my own, a tradition since childhood), are a month-long celebration in this household, and since I’ve been discussing mine for the better part of two weeks, Zach is excited by all the hype. He knows his father purchased “thanks for being born” accoutrement both for he and Justin to bestow upon me, and for my husband to shower upon me as well, and he can’t wait until the big hurrah.
By the look on Zach’s face, I’m hoping his father did a REALLY good job shopping this year.
In no time at all our dinners are consumed (Justin heartily prefers to pick from my plate, and although I’m happy to share, if I want a full meal I need to eat fast), gifts and cards opened and savored (Jeff came through), envelopes and decimated scraps of brightly festive paper quickly creating a faux carpet around us. It’s time for the highly anticipated denouement of the evening, the accapella tune that my youngest is known to sing around the house in hopes it will usher in his own day of birth that much sooner. Zach is happily immersed in all of the pomp and ceremony, from assisting my husband in procuring our lone candle which has been relegated to the back of a cluttered drawer since my last holy celebration, to begging his Daddy to light this illuminata (said request was adamantly thwarted).
We are moments from igniting our two-inch torch when the synapses in my brain thankfully kick in, and I remember that Justin’s school has sent home his new iPad today, customized through the diligent work of his speech teachers solely for him. He grinned at me when I freed the slight black square from where it was carefully nestled in my son’s backpack, was gleeful when I turned it on and he requested potty, snack, and juice in rapid succession. I was particularly delighted with myself both for remembering how to turn it on, and for being able to locate Justin’s most precious app, Proloquo2go.
As my son proceeded through his post-school pee, I quickly surfed through the myriad screens his dedicated staff members had contrived for him. I reminded myself that his asking for specific activities, his ability to express emotions, hell, his desire to receive a hug, no longer required the complicated machinations of his prior augmentative device. He could simply touch a screen, deftly maneuver the tips of his fingers over a myriad of buttons, and allow them to speak for him.
And because of this technology, during the traditional rite of passage most families engage in automatically, this year my eldest boy could finally wish me a “happy birthday” too.
I raced to the family room for the machine, activated it, and searched for the “holiday” button I was certain existed within the multitude of lettered grids. After a false start or two (I’m sure Justin would have found it immediately) I located it, pressed down upon the cool square promising celebration, and was rewarded with a child’s voice exclaiming the words to me. I walked over to my eldest, brimming with anticipation to show him.
I knelt down, and gently turned his face toward mine so I could garner his full attention. “It’s Mommy’s birthday, Justin”, I said quietly, “and you can participate in the song this year just by pushing the ‘Happy Birthday’ button right here.” He smiled at me sweetly as I made certain he’d seen the icon, and I reluctantly disengaged my fingers from his face, not sure how much he’d comprehended of what I’d just shared. My husband slid over and hovered behind him, waiting to gently prompt him if necessary. As I dimmed the lights, two voices, one in particular for which I am forever grateful, entwined in tune to sing to me. At the end of the last chorus, the crescendo of “dear Mommy” distinctly relegated to the past, my eldest pushed a button with a smile engulfing his entire face, and participated fully in our first all-family birthday song.
And as I huffed and I puffed for dramatic effect for my youngest who appreciates the effort, our candle’s tiny flame was extinguished, wishes sailing out to what for this family has been lately a far gentler, and far more benevolent, universe. In keeping with tradition I won’t tell you what those wishes were, although I wouldn’t be surprised if you guessed. I can tell you for certain, in that specific moment, that one of them had already come true.
Happy Birthday to me.
March 23, 2011
Well, I’ve managed to avoid doing this for an entire year, but here I go. Now I’m just another blogger hitting people up for money.
Yes, it’s for a good cause. And yes, you’ve heard me speak about this organization many, many times, in particular with the piece I wrote about the POAC (Parents of Autistic Children) gala (here) a few weeks back. It’s true, there are numerous wonderful autism agencies and organizations out there, many of whom are located right here in New Jersey. They all do great works, and a number of them Jeff and I open our wallets for (okay, Jeff does, I’m not exactly a “big earner” these days). I am grateful for all they accomplish, both to those who are local, and to those who are nationwide.
But I admit, POAC has my heart.
It’s not just that every dollar raised for them stays right here in the Garden State. It’s not simply that they’ve trained thousands of law enforcement personnel, and on the off chance I might need one some day, I’d be grateful if they comprehended why my oldest son might not be answering their questions verbally. I don’t just have a crush on them because all of their seminars and programs are free of charge, nor do I like them solely because they are the largest provider of free autism trainings for educators in the entire state (once a teacher, always a teacher).
The real reason I love them is because for the last five years, they’ve given me and Justin something to do on the weekends for free. Yes, I am that easily pleased.
The lion’s share of POAC’s funding comes from four walk-a-thons they hold in the spring, conducted in as many different regions of the state. You can read about the events (here), and if you’re so inclined, it’s really easy to make a donation. Creating an entire team for a walk isn’t necessary.
But if you want to, we’ll cheer you on. And if you just want to come out and join us with your presence, we’ll gladly take that support as well.
On behalf of my boys, and all children on the autism spectrum in New Jersey, the volunteers of POAC thank you!
March 22, 2011
This week’s Gratitude Attitude goes out to my family for making my birthday day (okay, week and month too!) so wonderful. Special mention goes to my husband and boys for making the actual event a “mommy’s not cleaning anything” day, and to Aunt Kate, for a London broil and homemade chocolate cake that were both to die for. It’s almost April and I’ll stop talking about this soon, but in the meantime, thanks to everyone!
March 20, 2011
This past week, an exquisite writer named Jess, the author of adiaryofamom, wrote an impassioned missive to the President (yes, the REAL one) that actually has a great chance of landing in the man’s actual hands. In the letter, she spoke of many important issues surrounding autism and its myriad manifestations, but her writing really focused on one central tenet: the need, the imperative need, for ever-increasing awareness of every aspect of this disorder. She then asked the President, and all of us “regular people”, those with and without a connection to autism, to please show our support for this mission. The plan, by changing both the White House’s and our own porchlights to blue on Saturday, April 2nd, is to show solidarity on what will be our fourth annual World Autism Awareness Day.
This is one blogger who’s sending her husband to Walmart next week.
Jess writes so eloquently in her directive to President Obama that to do it justice you need to read it (here), and if you have the time, any comments you leave on the site could possibly help further the cause. I would be so appreciative if my readers would take the opportunity to do so.
As Jess so aptly put it, “awareness is not the goal, but the means by which we will achieve it.” She’s right. Awareness is the precursor to discourse, to the written word, to impassioned speeches, to initial drafts of legislature, to the salvation and sanctity of law. It is not the endpoint. It is the catalyst to change.
And for the million or so adults and children on the spectrum in this country, and the multiple millions on our planet, it is imperative this awareness continues to take root and blossom in every corner, and in every crevice, of the world.
In her letter Jess states, “Blue says we are here. We see you. We hear you. We support you.”
I am asking those of you who read this blog, and particularly those who reside in New Jersey, where the prevalence for boys who have autism is 1 in 64, (yes, 1 in 64), to please support us on April 2nd. Shroud your outside lights in a strong shade of blue, and illuminate the world.
On behalf of my children, I thank you for your support.
March 18, 2011
In the past year I’ve become a volunteer for POAC, Parents of Autistic Children in Brick, NJ, primarily in the area of fundraising (strangely, I find I deeply enjoy asking people to part with money for a good cause). Recently, a prominent member of the organization emailed me and requested I promote a close local friend of his, Darren Fitzgerald, on my blog. It seems that Mr. Fitzgerald, although having no connection to autism other than his relationship to this POAC member, has decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from his published book to our organization. Since I’ll promote anyone who wants to add to POAC’s coffers other than possibly Mel Gibson or Charlie Sheen (and even they’re negotiable), I was happy to comply. So, I googled him (yes, I know how to do that all by myself), found his website, (here),and began to delve into both his personal and professional story.
I quickly learned his book is about the supernatural. Bonus.
For those of you not aware I won second prize in the seventh grade science fair for my innovative interpretations of the inner workings of ESP, I will have you know I am a bona fide fan of all things unworldly. My love for the genre embraced both “straight” sci-fi and horror, with my predilection for the former being mostly satisfied by Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, and my penchant for the latter being fulfilled by the master himself, Stephen King. I spent more than a few nights during my childhood immersed in my covers with my tiny flashlight reading these works way past my bedtime (I suspect now my mother was aware of my transgressions), scaring myself silly, and rendering myself exhausted for the next school day. Suffice it to say, I am well-versed in the literary aspect of the supernatural.
I know. I was such a cool kid.
After perusing Darren’s website, I was happy to discover a link that took me to an excerpt of his story (I got to click the pages of a fake book to read the first chapter, is there nothing this new-fangled technology can’t do?). I admit I was immediately drawn in, his writing style engrossing me enough to even make me forget my favorite show on the Food Network was about to broadcast. His work chronicles the story of a “truly menacing and malevolent force that could cause serious harm and wanton destruction at a moment’s notice”, and of course, I was immediately hooked after reading both that gripping description, and the first page of his book. I whipped through the first chapter provided to me, captivated by compelling characters, a well-developed plot line, and most importantly to me, the story’s inherent credibility, as it took place during his childhood in his own central Jersey home. Long story short, I’ll be purchasing this author’s literary debut with glee, and not just because he’s contributing part of the proceeds to POAC.
Here’s some more great news. There’s even an upcoming sequel.
So, if you’re in the mood for what appears to be an edge-of-your-seat supernatural thriller, please visit Darren Fitzgerald’s website at: http://hurleypond.com/bios.html and show him some love.
While you’re at it, you’ll be “showing the money” to POAC as well. To you, readers, a most heartfelt thank you in advance!
March 16, 2011
This past Saturday morning, while leaving my husband alone downstairs to fend for himself with the wee ones, I snuck upstairs to steal a few glorious solo minutes in the shower. Of course, no trip to the second floor would be complete without a stop at our computer to compulsively check email/Facebook/how many hits I’ve had on my blog today, and since this is one obsession I’m loathe to deny myself, this time was no different than any other. Usually there’s nothing of great interest during the fairly early hours of a weekend morning for me, but as I tore myself away from the coverage of Japan, one item in my email caught my eye.
The Schafer Autism Report was out again, and I bargained with myself I’d simply skim the headlines, and save the “issue” to peruse later. There were, after all, two small, energetic children waiting downstairs to be released from captivity into any activity that does not include the four walls of our home, and I have my responsibilities. I reminded myself to skip shaving my legs (oh, what a sacrifice) so I could get downstairs sooner, began to swivel my favorite leather chair towards our bathroom, then stopped mid-swerve as I saw the headline: “PA Caregiver in Autism Death Sent to Prison”.
Those kids would have to wait.
I first wrote about this horrifying event last summer (here), so if you want the full back-story you can catch up with my prior posting. I penned the piece about an autistic man literally boiling alive in a van due to the negligence, and unwanton cruelty, of a caregiver just a few months after a similar story of utter horror had run on the SAR. This story was beautifully covered by both adiaryofamom and MyBrainWantstoGoHome, and if you have time to read their posts, I suggest you indulge. Educating yourself on these matters may one day, for a child, result in the difference between life and death.
I chose in part not to write about the mom who poured poison down her autistic children’s throats partly because I felt these two bloggers covered the event so well I had nothing to add (an unusual event for me), and partly because I am certain this will never happen to my children. There may not be much I can control in life, but as I mentioned in my prequel post, of this I am sure. I will never kill my kids.
So, I decided to write about the ramifications of permitting a helpless, non-verbal, autistic man to die an excruciating death alone, perhaps within calling distance of his caregiver (had he of course possessed the ability to speak), because this is a possibility for my eldest child that haunts me every single day of my life. At some point, hopefully a long, long, time from now, Jeff and I will be dead, and Justin will be left to spend the remainder of his life without us. I predict that his brother will be able and willing to look in on him from time to time, but I am aware he cannot be his shadow twenty-four hours a day, for perhaps forty years. All it takes is mere minutes, or seconds perhaps, for his caregivers to forget he’s in a pool, or to turn their heads as he runs unattended into a busy street. His life could end because the sheer magnitude of caring for an adult autistic man every moment of his days will be overwhelming, and accidents could easily happen.
Or, as in the case of Bryan Nevins, he could be left to dehydrate to death in a car, while somebody who doesn’t give a damn texts her boyfriend.
As I sat in my slightly sweaty work-out clothes and read the short piece chronicling the outcome of the trial, I could feel my entire body tense at the words, felt an overall shudder of disbelief creep over my limbs. It seems that Judge Albert J. Cepparulo of Bucks County, PA was less than impressed with Ms. Stacey Strauss’s acceptance of her responsibility in her charge’s death. In fact, he was quoted as stating “Frankly, Ms. Strauss, I don’t believe I’ve heard a less remorseful statement from someone about to be sentenced”, with this remark following Ms. Strauss’s apparent sobs, which were bookended by frosty denials, as she pleaded her case.
Just to be clear, this judge, in his time on the bench, had never heard a less remorseful statement, as he subsequently sentenced Ms. Strauss to two to five years for involuntary manslaughter. And while I’m relieved there have been serious repercussions for the accused, I’m certain that punishment won’t alleviate the lifetime sentence Bryan Nevins’ parents had handed to them. They most assuredly will have to contemplate both the fact that their son is dead, coupled with how he died, until death itself claims them.
I would imagine those gruesome, unfathomable images will make their intrusive presence known to them often. Most likely, those visions will plague them every, single, day.
Maybe Ms. Strauss is congenitally evil. It is possible of course that she was just having a bad day, perhaps embroiled in an argument with her then-beau. It is conceivable she had a bad childhood. I can truly say, in each instance of excuse as to why she cruelly allowed this man die, that I most wholeheartedly do not give a crap.
What chills me the most however, is the possibility that she simply did not regard Mr. Nevins as fully human.
People have asked me frequently why I write this blog, and why others share so prolifically about their daily lives. I do not intend to speak for other writers, although I personally know a few who share my sentiments. I will, because I possess the precious gift to do so, only speak for myself.
I write about my boys because they are both exuberant, emotional, loving, children.
I write about my eldest son because Justin, for those he adores, has more empathy encompassed in his little finger than many adults I’ve encountered during my lifetime.
I write about Justin because my eldest is completely without guile, possesses perhaps the purest soul of any individual I’ve been fortunate enough to meet.
I write about my boys because their smiles simply take over their countenances, leaving those around them buoyed in spirit, forever altered.
I write about my boys because they are fully, and completely, human.
I wish, God how I wish, that today’s children will grow up with a different perspective on disability than perhaps our generation did. I pray that the school programs that have been implemented, the organizations, the television shows, the films, the books, the blogs, the laws, will continue to alter peoples’ perspectives on the inherent worth of our children. Perhaps, most importantly, the dialogue that transpires between parents and kids about that neighborhood child, or the one in homeroom class, will serve to further the cause. I can only hope from this hard work that awareness will continue to grow, and a travesty of these proportions will never be repeated.
And as I end this missive, much as I did my last post on this subject, I share these sentiments with all of you:
I am so sorry, for the sister who has lost her sibling, her childhood companion.
I am so sorry, for the parents who have unwillingly relinquished a cherished child.
I am so sorry for this man’s autistic twin, for his having to face life without his beloved best friend.
I am simply, so, so, sorry.
March 15, 2011
Today’s Gratitude Attitude goes once again to the “Divine Miss M”, for our last session at the movies this weekend, which had spectacular results (post on this to come!). Thank you Miss M, and we look forward to seeing you again this summer!
(And a special note of gratitude to my mom for giving birth to me on this date forty-four years ago, during a blizzard in Rhode Island. Clearly, I appreciate it mom, and thanks!)