If you were wondering some of what we’re about, here are some favorites here at Seriously Not Boring:
(The original title was “20 Things that Parenting a Child With Special Needs Has Taught me About Life in General”) Over the years while parenting my two VERY Not Boring boys I have learned a few things and slowly began to develop some guiding principles. I still try to remember them when I find myself in difficult situations, but I don’t always succeed. I am still a work in progress! Some highlights: Regret distorts reality, give people the benefit of the doubt, appearances can be deceiving, and BE KIND. To read the rest you can click here. (A version of this post also appeared at The Mighty.)
This piece was written for the Parents Magazine special needs blog about something that happened many years ago when the Ninjas were very small and we were new to the Autism world. A difficult incident happened in a grocery store, but the graciousness and compassion showed to us by the employees there helped us through it. (Note: I don’t talk about the meltdown in much detail because that would be disrespectful to my son.) Click here to read the story.
There is no shame in Autism. When my son was old enough I wanted to explain his unique brain to him in a positive way, because how you do it is incredibly important and can affect a child’s self-image for the rest of their life. I wrote: “… I had to be very careful with my words and how I presented Autism. Society still attaches a great deal of stigma to any sort of disability, or even to simply being different (I don’t feel that way, but society often does). I didn’t want him to see himself as flawed, or view his diagnosis as restrictive, limiting his expectations of what he could achieve in life. I did not want the truth to be damaging. I wanted it to be illuminative and empowering. I hoped that having knowledge of Autism would improve his understanding of how his brain works and help him be more patient with himself.” A version of this story also appeared on the website The Mighty. Click here to read more about our talk.
When my friend Lisa first posted some amazing pictures on Facebook of her son with TV science host Bill Nye I knew it was a story that MUST be told. Her son has Autism and Bill Nye is his special interest. I was thrilled that Michael had the chance to meet his idol, and it made me tear up to see him so happy. I was also incredibly touched that Bill Nye took the time to meet with his young fan. Not every celebrity is willing to meet one-on-one with fans, AND not everyone is comfortable spending time alone with someone who they know is different. I interviewed Lisa and posted the details, and then the local media later approached them for an interview (but you read it here first!). The whole story still brings a smile to my face. Click here to read the article.
This the post I am the most proud of. The #1 search that brings new readers to this site is “explaining autism to classmates” or some variation, and this post CONTINUES to help people. As I have said before, I believe honest dialogue about disability is crucial to acceptance, and that children can be surprisingly open-minded about diversity and uniqueness. The trick is to explain those differences (and similarities!) in a matter-of-fact and positive way, before they can be affected by the prejudices of the world. I have been amazed and touched by the way that my son’s teachers and classmates have rallied around him and practiced INCLUSION in the classroom, and am excited to share tips with other parents and with educators. Click here to read the original post.
Finally, here is our favorite:
Just over a year ago a little video with a big message somehow spread across TV and internet. It all started when my son was watching a sea lion at the zoo and I noticed she was following him through the glass. I started recording and happened to catch his adorably enthusiastic reaction. He still describes it as one of the best moments of his life.
It felt bittersweet to watch them play, because it was in stark contrast to all the times that he came home frustrated after struggling to play outside with the children in our neighborhood. I thought that other parents could possibly relate to how my heart soared when my son cried out, “She likes me!” Plus I thought it was simply an adorable video.
I talked with the Little Ninja and he agreed to share the video and his story. We hoped that it would help educate others & promote Autism acceptance, and maybe make the world a kinder place. At the very least we hoped it would make people smile. Click here to read the post.
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