Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wishful Thinking?

I’ve moved past the part of the parenting a special needs child where you wish he/she were ‘normal’.  Sometimes, I am now recognizing, that I wish he were autistic in a different way…i.e., it manifests itself differently.  Is that weird?

At the Birthday Party this past weekend I noticed that out of the verbal autistic boys at the party, that Super D was the least social.  He was having a good time, enjoying himself (after awhile the noise and lights and such all get overwhelming for him), but he really doesn’t interact with the kids at the party. 

I was watching two other kids, who in fact had their autistic issues, but were at least social.  Uncomfortably so, but still, they were social.

So what am I hungering for here? Well, what I figure all of us want – something different than what we do have.  Maya is so social (she needs to have her calendar filled at all times, if possible, with play dates with ‘the girls’), and when Demetrius spends a weekend home by himself without a play date – well, it is just hard. But without the want to be social, living in the bubble he often does, and then being a bit shy and laid back…this all works against him.  If he were more social, then maybe…

Maybe what? Demetrius becoming more frustrated from trying to talk to other kids, only to be made fun of or ignored?  Demetrius becoming angry because when he does communicate it isn’t right, and he stews and cries because of it?

I’ve seen this too – but I see it less, on average, as the social ones become better at communicating…I’m not saying they are perfect and there aren’t multitudes of issues, what I am seeing is less of the frustration than when they were 5 and 6 as their social skills have improved along with their vocabularies.

At the heart of it all I know how much he enjoyed his birthday party, but I also know how much better it could have been if he interacted with those kids bowling and goofing around.  Just some wishful thinking on my part.

Posted by Jerry in 17:28:51 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Monday, May 19, 2008

Frick and Frack

Demetrius went to an awesome birthday party yesterday at Zack’s house. It was a NASCAR birthday, go karts, volleyball, all sorts of fun and games. Zack’s parents really did a great job. But Demetrius didn’t want to play outside, of course, he wanted to check out Zack’s room and see if he had any cool Super Heroes.

Demetrius is Frick, Maya is Frack. Frick runs a bit ahead of me as we get to the party, so he can try to work a parent to get into the house and see what toys Zack has. He runs up to Zack’s grandma, who is standing by the back door, half paying attention. Demetrius is about 4 feet in front of me.

Frick: Hey old lady, can I go in the house?

Grandma: Hello, who are you?

Daddy basically tackles Frick, has a quick talk, and Frick stands there, now looking to his left at the….snow cone machine!

Frack grabs Frick’s arm. “Demetrius! We don’t call that Grandma an old lady! It’s not nice!”

Frick: “Okay Maya, I want a snow cone!”

Yep, its official. The Crazy Grassos are at a birthday party.


As I have blogged, we are re-doing the upstairs. The office is about finished, and I’ve hooked up the new HD, 19 inch TV. Perfect for this room and our wants. Friday, as we were putting books on the new bookshelves, Demetrius comes in and sees the new TV. He, of course, has us immediately turn on Nickelodeon, and he says, “Daddy, lets watch a movie.”

I flat out lie: “Demetrius, this TV doesn’t have a movie player (It does, built into the side of the flat panel.) We can only watch TV on it.” Clearly, the boy is disappointed.

Fast forward to about 9pm on Saturday night. Our friends the Gossages are going home after coming over for dinner. We turn around and Demetrius is looking at the box the TV came in.

Frick: Daddy, you are a liar! I am right and you are wrong! See in this picture on the box, the TV does have a movie player! We can watch DVDs!

Daddy: Demetrius, were you going through the boxes to look at the TV box?

Frick: Yes, you are wrong, I was right. Can I watch a movie?


Posted by Jerry in 14:14:01 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pictures From The Birthday Party

The children involved at the party will remain nameless!

Needless to say: they all had a good time!

Whew….now onto the slumber party…..

Posted by Jerry in 23:02:32 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Good For Kim

Kim’s decided enough with the waiting around. She took the initiative. Earlier in the week, I get an invite to a Halloween party from the wife in my email inbox. I assume we’ve been invited to a Halloween party and she’s just forwarding it to me. Nah, if no one is gonna invite Demetrius to a party, then we are having a party and inviting other kids. Neighbor kids, school friends, long time friends, and……other autistic kids. Kids that don’t get invited to birthday or holiday parties. So why sit around and have your heart broken or feel sad.?Throw your own party!

Like any last minute party, some can make it, some can’t. But Demetrius has been talking about it ever since Kim came up with this and acted on it. “I’m having a Halloween Party!,” he’s been yelling to anyone that will listen. “It will be spooky….” (I don’t know about that…)

But I tell you this -

It will be enjoyed by a few little boys, and those little boys Moms & Dads.

You go Kim Grasso! Well done.

Posted by Jerry in 20:12:25 | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Paulina And The Party

Everyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about birthday parties. They are so important to being a little kid. Cake, ice cream, candy, your friends, and presents, presents, presents! Last year Demetrius was invited to David Button’s birthday party – David, Cowboy Bear, who now lives in Singapore (man, do we miss the Buttons) – and then it went dry. Nothing. Nothing told me more about the world we live in with this child than the fact he wasn’t being invited to birthday parties. The words I’ve heard the last few weeks hurt real bad, but this breaks my heart for my child. Because he loves birthday parties. In a way, it just shows me how lonely it can be for Demetrius.

Then came an invite in mid-May for Lounda’s birthday party. Lounda is a little French girl….with three brothers. I met her mother, Paulina, at a couple of Demetrius’ school events. She always looked tired. I figured with four kids she would be. Each time I spoke to her (not that I got into in-depth conversations), she always said Demetrius was ‘a sweet boy’. So when we got the invite, I knew it was because this mother saw Demetrius as we did.

The party was at a local park, so the kids really got to run around. She had popsicles, she gave Demetrius two or three. An adult that will give popsicles without thinking twice. That’s an adult Demetrius can hang with. The cake? A Dora the Explorer cake. 2 layers. Chocolate and vanilla with butter cream. Demetrius loves butter cream. While Paulina looked tired, she ran a great party. Demetrius is known as a ‘cake tester’. Fingers in the cake around the corners, no cake in our house goes with out someone’s fingerprints on it….it can get a boy in trouble (but it tastes so good stealing a taste). She let Demetrius stick his fingers in the cake, multiple times.

She let him keep a figurine from the cake. Boots. Demetrius likes Boots a lot. She understood him.

While we were eating some cake, she told me they were here for her husband’s job. The kids were getting a good American education.

It wasn’t the truth.

Paulina was sick. Very sick. She had gall bladder cancer. She looked so tired, because she was dying. The family moved here so she could get treatment. She died yesterday.

The oldest child is a third grader. A third grader. Four of them.

I found out from Maya last night (this child is in the know as a Kindergartner, I tell you). I confirmed with Kim. We found out she was sick last week. But it still hit me like bricks.

She invited my autistic kid to a birthday party. She was sweet to him. She seemed to understand.

I never had a chance to say thank you, Paulina, from me, personally. For treating my kid like – like – a regular kid. It was a great day for Demetrius, and few honest hours of feeling like we really belong, for me.

Oh- and thanks for letting him put his fingers in the icing.

Paulina, you are missed by a father that barely knew you.

Posted by Jerry in 13:58:47 | Permalink | Comments (4)