· Normal is a dryer setting.


  • CindyB
    at · Reply

    Walked with a walker! That had to be absolutely precious to see!!

  • Iliana
    at · Reply

    “something more common, such as autism, cannot be addressed with a generalization.”

    Very, VERY true! I was born with autism, and the second-greatest unrealistic expectation I contend with (the greatest being that I behave “normally) is that I am expected to behave like someone’s child/sibling/cousin/friend with autism. I’m stereotyped into many categories that are very different from the person I am. I am expected to have an affinity for math and science; while I’m good at these things, my passions lie in the arts — I can’t go an hour without making up a story, and I’d be happy spending the rest of my life designing costumes.
    I’m not and have never been speech-delayed. I never to my knowledge threw a tantrum in a public place. And while I may shy away from the contact of strangers, I have never had a problem touching or hugging my friends and family.

    Also, I want to commend Namine’s parents for their acceptance of her AS SHE IS. As I mentioned above, the single biggest expectation of me is that I can and should learn to behave “normally”. (What is “normal” anyway?) I will never be able to tolerate loud noise or flashing lights. I will always have a need for a personal-space bubble greater than others. Much of my childhood was driven by people trying to erase my “quirks” (I was not officially diagnosed until I was thirteen). Things that might have been fun became chores because I was being pushed to do them the way other children did, and in some cases was forced into them in the first place in an attempt to force me to socialize. The example I use is dance. From the time I was little, dance was associated with pressure, with being forced to do things I really didn’t want to and then being told I wasn’t doing them well enough (I innately lack motor skills). In my junior year of high school, I took my last dance class, and was glad it was done and over. About five months later, I discovered myself listening to certain songs and picturing in my mind movements to accompany these songs. I began to take the movements out of my mind and onto the floor, and it was then that I rediscovered the sheer joy of dancing. Now I want to complain that I don’t get to dance enough. Who knows how much sooner I would have discovered it if I hadn’t been forced into it. And who knows what other things that I now despise could have been joyful under other circumstances?

    Keep accepting Namine, differences and all, and insist that the world do the same.

  • Barbara
    at · Reply

    ‘ad-lib’ indeed. I call parenting a constant judgment call. That is if a parent chooses or learns to think about their own behavior and its effects on their child. (oops. going off on a tangent here.) You are so correct in that many diagnoses only categorize a child’s issues – not specifies them for protocol intervention, or parenting. Both autism and cerebral palsy are quite individual in presentation. The individuality of each child is a primary reason to be suspicious of treatments that ‘treat all’ children in (esp many) diagnostic categories.

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