Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Sum of Parts

I am so proud that Caleb actually managed to enjoy the pool, regardless of the splashing and noise. If you think about it, it really is sensory overload.
Sit down and get comfy as I am getting ready for a rant. I always struggle as to whether I should talk about Caleb and his Asperger's Autism, not because of the way I feel, but because I don't want him to wear the label. He is the sum of his parts, and lots of those are fantastic. He suffers from Aspergers but he is not Aspergers. We work hard to give him as many tools to cope as we can so he interacts in a "normal" fashion. I was speaking to a new acquaintance today and in friendly banter she asked how the kinder was going. I am always open about Caleb and explaining how they had been open to supplying him with additional help, etc. Her reply, in whispered tone, was that her son had some developmental delays and while she FEARED he may have some autism spectrum traits she admitted she was living in denial as she didn't want to know. I am so proud of my boy and who he is in all his parts. That is why I discuss it here, I want people to know it is ok, I am sure there are so many worse things out there. Different is ok, we are all different in our own way, some are just better at hiding it than others.

15 comments:

thornberry said...

Well put Cindy. And I think that it is good to talk about Caleb's Asperger's - just like we talk about any other characteristic that our kids have. We truly are the sum of our parts. And I love the photo.

Bek said...

Great post!

I think by being open about Caleb's Aspergers, you are helping people not be so "afraid" of a "diagnosis".

When I read you blog I know Caleb to be a smart, funny, loving little man, who has really benefitted from having a mum who understands so well some of the challenges he faces and has worked hard to support him to overcome those challenges.

Thanks for sharing! (and glad to hear kinder is going well!)

Libby said...

You are a great Mum and Caleb is lucky to have such a supportive family.
I have family members with Aspergers too, it doesn't define who they are and they are wonderful people.
It's great to see him doing so well.x

Megan: The Byron Life said...

Oh look at him there - he is loving it! What a fantastic photo.
I totally support your "rant" as you put it. It's great to be open about your experience, and I also agree with what Bek said - it helps other people to not be so afraid.
I hope you don't get worn down by those fearful people; it's their own stuff Cindy, not yours.
You are so right - we are all different, all the sum of our parts - never a label. Ever. Although, if we are going to talk about labels, I would label you "the bestest mum" :)

Anonymous said...

Cindy:

My oldest has Aperger's, he's 15. As you know, early intervention is key and even though I know we acted as quickly as we could, he was still 6 before receiving any services. He does very well and was invited to his first high school party last weekend. He had a great time.

We went to see Tony Atwood years ago and he said, "If you know one person with Asperger's, you know one person with Asperger's". Meaning of course that every one is different, and thank goodness for that! Caleb is a lucky boy to have a mom to advocate for him and help him get wherever he wants to be!

Take care,

Lisa

Don't mean to post anonymously, just don't have a blogger id. :)

Kerri said...

Well done. Caleb is a beautiful boy and you are a fantastic mum. Caleb is so lucky to have a mum like you. There are so many people that dont know what it is and its good that you can talk about it. He looks so happy in the water. Well done

Jhoanna said...

Amen to that Cindy - well said! I agree with all that you have said - each person is the sum of his/her parts and we are all wonderfully created, unique, and different. Your honesty is so refreshing. So wonderful to read that he is doing well in Kindy. You are an awesome Mum ♥

edward and lilly said...

It's wonderful that you have such a positive attitude which is obviously reflected in Caleb. He looks so happy, there is no doubt you are a great Mum.

Hoppo Bumpo said...

Well having met your beautiful little Caleb I think you have done a fine job with him and have much to be proud of. He is the most gorgeous boy. In my opinion, different is just perfect.

CurlyPops said...

OMG I can't believe someone would rather live in denial instead of providing the tools that her son may need to reach his potential.
I think it is so wonderful that you do everything you can to ensure Caleb's happiness and wellbeing, and if that means that there are modifications to activities or extra help needed, then it is wonderful that you are able to provide him with that.

JustJess said...

Cindy you do a great job with Caleb. It's hard with the 'label', but we have found that Master 6 likes to know WHY he is different to other kids, and the label helps him see that the things he has issues with are not his fault. He loves meeting other kids with AS, as they 'get' him. BTW - training wheels off tonight!! Well done at the pool Caleb! xx

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

He does look like a very happy child and it sounds like you're a truly wonderful mum. I think being open about Aspergers is the best way to be, people fear most what others won't talk about. I really feel sorry for the mum who would prefer to live in denial rather than get her child the help he needs.

Jetta's Nest said...

Caleb sure is lucky to have a family who love him for who he is in total, rather than just bits and pieces of who he is. I'm really trying to teach my boys that everybody is different and that's OK!

Anonymous said...

My Caleb has Asperger's too, he is now 11, & as with "Anonymous Lisa" we saw Tony Attwood a few years ago too - his words to us were 'Congratulations, your son has Aspergers' Syndrome!:" Well, that was a change from what most people would expect to hear! We have always been very open about Caleb & I think that is the key to acceptance. i always get upset when I hear people refusing to accept a diagnosis (of any sort) with their children. It only makes it harder for the kids.

Sounds like you are doing a great job with your Caleb!

Siobhan (I can't remember my blogger password!)

Leni and Rose said...

I think you're being the best mum. He looks super happy and I agree, being open is the way to go. It's a shame that some other mums don't have the same attitude as you...