Thursday, May 04, 2006

Here we are...

digital page by the wonderful Jennifer Pebbles

Are you thinking, "that's an odd name for a blog?" Especially coming from me. Someone who has never really wanted to be normal. That always seemed so artificial, so contrived, so well...mainstream. I used to have a bumper sticker on my car (my dad still does), that says "why be normal?" In the dictionary normal looks like this:

nor·mal ( P ) Pronunciation Key (nĂ´rml)adj. Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical: normal room temperature; one's normal weight; normal diplomatic relations.

Below that is another (more aprpos) definition:

Biology. Functioning or occurring in a natural way; lacking observable abnormalities or deficiencies.

So, this blog is about a journey I am now on. One that I could have never guessed I'd be part of and have no idea where it will take me. I have a 2.5 year old Autistic son. He was diagnosed with the educational Autism label at the age of two. Just in the last month he got the official medical diagnosis. I have another blog over at artsymama for my creative endeavors. This one is going to be for my journey as Lowell's mommy. Recording where we've been, where we are now and where we're going. I feel compelled to get this all written down. To connect with others on similar paths and print out for him to read someday and (hopefully) see how far he's come.

So, now I am now stumbling towards normalcy. I just want my son to be a normal kid... whatever that means. I'm struggling with the fact that now I'm a mommy of a special ed kid. You never see that on bumper stickers! Of course I love him for who he is. More than I could ever put into words. I want him to be happy, as any mother does. I want him to be successful in whatever he decides to persue. I just want him to function well enough to have the opportunities that normal kids have. This is all new to me and now I am sharing it with you. Come along, if you'd like. Take my hand. Posted by Picasa


Jenna said...

Wow Kari--this blog will be great for all of us mommy's! Just wanted to let you know I was here and will be back later! :-)

Jen Leheny said...

What a great idea this new blog is. I have a nephew with Autism and a (step)son with Aspergers so I am always interested in this subject.

I recently found this site from another creative woman which also has this article which I thought might be useful to you.

As you have only recently had the diagnosis it will take time for you and your family to adjust to this, but he is still the same beautiful child and that won't change. :)

Good luck in your journey.


angi b said...

my 3 year old son dominic doesn't talk yet

he has the speech skills of a 1 year old right now (mimmicking sounds he hears in "thomas the train" videos like "no" "go"...

i interviewed with the regional center for language disorders and they say he is not autistic based on my interview with them.

i am still going to follow your journey as i so much want to learn how to communicate with my son and learn anything to help him with his language development. thanks for sharing your journey

gkgirl said...

i'll definately be here...
i'm not a mom dealing with this
but the child i have been
providing childcare for 2 and a
half years full time
has been diagnosed
and i am being trained to provide
part of his early intervention

so i'm here with interest in what
others have done/learned/experienced,
and hopes to connect with others.

Lu said...

your LO is amazing. Just as you are.

Cassondra said...

Kari, your new blog will be such a great way to give and get support and ideas from and to others. You are such a kind and creative person, what a lucky little guy you have, that has such a great mommy! :>) said...

Kari, I don't know a lot about autism but I am very anxious to follow your journey with you. Your son is gorgeous.

Greta said...

I think this is a great idea and when he gets old enough to read it he will sure love you for it

Ontario Wanderer said...

Note from a retired school teacher who also spent 8 years working with emotionally disturbed children in both treatment and assessment centres:

TIME. That is what you will need and what will be eaten up by the relationship with your special son. I have had two experiences with autism. Once, I worked in an assessment/treatment centre for emotionally disturbed children. The autistic boy that arrived there did not fit in with the others as his problems were of a different sort. Emotional problems were the least of his worries. I found him to be the most interesting and lovable of all the children that passed through the centre on their way to help.

My second encounter with autism was much more frustrating. A well meaning, motivated mother was desperate to have her daughter treated as normally as possible and enrolled her in my "normal" grade one classroom. Although I wanted to help and she thought I was the one to do the best for her child, I had 26 other children to deal with and educate and her child, even with a classroom assistant, made little progress and the mother was very disturbed that I did so little with her child. It was an impossible situation but I still feel badly, years later, that I could not do more but time just did not allow.

Scott said...

Hi Kari

I am Kari's dad Scott and Lowell's
grandpa (Bobo) --- my wife Pat (Nana to Lowell) and I are very proud of all that Kari has accomplished and are very supportive and participative in working with and loving Lowell.
He is truly an angel!!! I love to take Lowell to the park in the late afternoon, a time when he needs to work off some of his energy. The park is a great place for the two of us to bond and have a lot of fun. I have had the bumper sticker "Why Be Normal" on my car for many many years. Now the task is to develop Lowell's skills and abilities so that he will become more "normal" in his
social development.


Dee said...

Hi Kari - I think this is a wonderul idea! My oldest daughter was diagnosed with PDDNOS at 4 years old. We saw the early warning signs, poor eye contact even as a baby, never smiled alot, and met only a few of her developmental mile stones,but we were told that "all children develop differently". She was our first child so we thought maybe we were over reacting so we just put it to the back of our minds hoping that the Dr was right. When our youngest daughter was born it was like day and night. We then had to accept the fact that Jessie had some delays and push for an assessment and so our story began.

She is not in grade 1 and has come leaps and bounds this year and amazed us all!! We have hired a private ABA trained tutor to work with her 6 hrs a week and she also has a part time Teachers Assistant in the classroom with her. It is something that I never thought I would be dealing with either but like you I love her to pieces for who she is and where she is and hope and pray that we can give her all that she needs to live that "normal" (whatever that is) life as an adult.

I will definately be visiting your blog an a daily basis to see how things are going.

Anonymous said...

Oh Kari,
Thinking about you .....I am sooooo touched by your blog and thank you for allowing me to be moved.

Anonymous said...

Kari- You are amazing and I am so inspired by your beautiful writings and pictures! We are all truly blessed to learn from you and your wonderful family :)

Shankari said...

Hi Kari!

Can't believe its been so long since I came by...