Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Pursuit of Typicalness

One of our New Adventures began last week. Greyson started Thursday Preschool at a place called Where The Garden Grows. We stopped by to check it out a month ago and liked what we saw.
Our self-portrait while walking in.

There is a fantastic teacher/student ratio and everyone there was lovely, including the kids. The teacher's seemed genuinely happy to work with Grey and that makes me really happy. Greyson is my heart...and to me, he is as perfect as you can get here on Earth. I am aware though, that he clearly is not your typical check the box kid. He will take more work, he will take more patience. I know this is a new world for them too. I am very grateful that they are willing to grow and stretch to accommodate some new kinds of seeds in their garden.

Teachers everywhere, Please be willing to have kids like Greyson in your classroom. Please teach my child. He will help you remember why you wanted to teach in the first place. He will be one of your most rewarding students. He will make you remember every day that you are shaping little lives and changing the world daily. I know it won't be easy, but I promise, it will be so rewarding.

Of course I accompanied him on our first day. Lucky for me he is on The Spectrum because I have an excuse to be the protective Mother that I am.
I am a Momma bird and I will have to learn how to deal when one of my babies is out of my nest.

As soon as we got there, Greyson went to go do what makes him most comfortable.
His version of playing.

He will learn how to play appropriately from his peers. I don't know why, but lining up cars is not socially appropriate, but making them drive around and go "Vroom" is! So he will pick up on those kinds of things being modeled by Typical kids.

As I've mentioned before, Greyson is starting to get the power of language and is understanding that language gets him stuff. He is starting to spontaneously ask for things he a drink...bubbles....pretzels. But quite often still when he wants something he will whine, cry, or wahhhhh & point first. I then say to him "What do you want? Use words" This happened while we were in the classroom. He pointed to the play area and I knew he wanted to I told him "Greyson, do you want to play? Tell me" And so he did and we went over to the toys.

Now, to me our exchange was perfectly easy to understand because I am fluent in Greyson. In fact, I forget that it is a different language than Typicals like myself use. The language of Greyson has a few nusiances. Dude is a syllable deleter, he switches C/K sounds for for T's (Tar goes vroom) and D's for G's (When he says his name it is "Day". Why didn't I name him Bob?- He can do B's.) When Greyson told me "I want play", this is what the rest of the World would have heard.
I... waaan... pay... We will start to fine tune those words AFTER he uses them consistently. For now I just model the appropriate way to pronounce it after he does. "Great job talking Greyson. You said, I want play! Let's go play."

There was a sweet little girl Greyson's age watching our interaction and she gave out a magical giggle. The girl next to her asked, "What's so funny" and she responded with, "Did you hear him? He talks funny. He just said Blah blah blah." and they both exploded into little giggles. I must point out these are sweet and young little girls with not a speck of maliciousness on their soul. They were simply reacting to different...and different - is sometimes funny! I said to the girls, "Can you help me? I really need your help." They looked up to me with wide open, smiling eyes and said, "YES! " I said, "You guys are so good at talking! Greyson needs your help learning how to talk like you guys do. He's not as good at it. Can you do that for me?" At that moment every child in the room came over to me and to Greyson and they were calling out, "I'll help! I want to help!" And then they were rushing to Greyson. One little guy held up a car and was loudly and passionately saying to Greyson "Say Car! Say Car! Say Car!" My sweet little G looked up at him and squeaked out "Tar" and all the kids were pleased with their accomplishment.

It was that sweet and real and beautiful interaction that later made me realize....they need Greyson as much as he needs them.... They are getting "Early Intervention" too. They are learning first hand how to appropriately handle different in the world. And it's in a way that we as Momma's never could teach them at home. They are learning how important it is to help others. They are learning that we all have gifts, that we all excel in certain aspects of our life and we must share those gifts with others- and that when you do share, it always comes back to you in spades.

Oh friend, it was such a beautiful moment...and I just knew then that this is the right place for G. Well, that plus the fact that they do fancy stuff- like take care of their own Organic Garden. That day they were harvesting some swiss chard and making smoothies with it!

Thank you for stopping by. I truly know that we are all part of something bigger...strung together by a love for pictures and words and people. Speaking of pictures, while you're here, I'll give you a tip on an easy and inexpensive way to display photos in your home. In case you didn't notice, I'm pretty keen on photographs. I think family photos are the best way to add personality and character to your home. Gallery wraps can get expensive, and if you're like me, you want to change out some of your photos from time to time. We do our own version of a gallery wrap. I bought canvas from an art store, then had some pictures printed in coorelating sizes (I never skimp on print quality though. I only order my personal family pictures from here. Make sure to spend a dollar or two extra and get the lustre coating.)
I painted the sides of the canvas with black acrylic paint, then used spray adhesive to attach the pictures to the canvas....

The finsished product- the 6 in the bottom row in the middle. You should totally pin this.

And thank you so much to my new and shiny members. I love you for signing up! By the way, thanks to a tip from a friend- it is now easy to leave comments on the blog. You no longer have to enter verification information and give a blood sample.

Have a great day!


  1. Hey Chrissy, I just wanted to let you know that you have made me cry multiple times while reading your blog! This story, like many others on here, is so inspiring. I cried because I was proud to know Grey and to have worked with him and too see the effort you guys put into him and Parker every minute of everyday is amazing. Some kids will never have love from their parents like you two give your kiddos and they are so lucky. I’m glad Grey is starting his preschool class and I love that the teachers were so welcoming to him. Hope to see you guys soon!

    1. Anay! You are SO SWEET! I'm glad I made you cry, as long as it was a good cry. Thank YOU for working with Grey, and with kids like Grey! You my friend are a patient Saint. Please rest your head on your pillow at night knowing that you are making a huge difference in the World.

  2. I totally got goosebumped and teary-eyed reading about how you handled those little girls giggling at Greyson. Awesome.

  3. Thank you, April. I bet it's what you would have done too. :-)

  4. This blog like many others brought tears to my eyes!!! I hope my Nico encounters little girls and boys like in Greyson's preschool!! Thank you for your blog, your words, your pictures.