Monday, March 31, 2008

My Feelings - Autism The Musical

On March 29Th (Saturday) we took K.C., Big Brother and my niece Linh Linh to an Autism Picnic. We go every year, it's a very nice event for the children, there are volunteers from Easter Seals, Guthrie and Valley Of The Sun helping the kiddos with Autism have fun.

Last year at the picnic K.C. watched his brother have fun. This year K.C. bounced in the inflated bouncers with his Big Brother! When K.C. first tried to get into the bouncer he couldn't stand. There were too many children in the bouncer and he was getting knocked around. I must have had an extreme look of worry on my face because the girls who were helping the kids in the bouncer shouted to the children, "two more minutes and everyone out." Then the girl turned to me and said, "when the children get out of the bouncer we will let him bounce alone for 2 minutes." I couldn't believe it. I almost cried knowing someone wanted to give K.C. a chance to have fun - alone!

My dear friend Lora at, sent me a link to watch an Autism Musical online. Here is the link to the musical if you want to watch it,
When I watched the musical it gave me alot of mixed emotions. I thought about the musical for a few days after, then yesterday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. In one scene in the musical there are a group of Parents sitting in a room talking about their children. One Mommy said that she felt that her daughter wasn't valued as a human being because of her Autism. The Mommy was very sad, crying knowing that in this world there are people she felt didn't value her daughter because of the Autism. Another scene in the movie was of a beautiful teenage girl typing on the computer. Her Mommy asked her, "what is Autism?" The girl typed, "damaging." The girl looked sad, very sad. You really have to watch the film to know what I am talking about.

I thought about K.C. I have thought alot these past three days. Does K.C. feel he's damaged? I wonder if he's happy? Does he know he's Autistic? Does he feel people don't value him because of his Autism? I thought alot about these things. I cried and cried. I prayed I have never done anything to make K.C. feel "damaged" or "not valued." I have never seen him this way ever. As a matter of fact if someone said he was "damaged" there would be some serious words coming out of my mouth at the person.

I talked to the boys Daddy and he said, "maybe that's they way the little girl felt." "It isn't how everyone feels." Still, I am doing everything I can each and every day so that K.C. feels loved, valued and happy with the way he is. It breaks me heart to think if K.C. was feeling sad. That is the parts of the musical I didn't like at all. I know that they were just the was the folks felt at the time but still, it hurts.

I watched the rest of the musical and thought the director did an amazing job with the children. I was very happy that the musical included non verbal kiddos as well. The children looked very proud of their accomplishments at the end of the musical. The Parents were thrilled and very proud for the kiddos. It was a good musical, I guess that it was a sort of awakening for me.

While we were at the picnic, K.C. did something I thought was amazing. When we have been taking him out, in public, he usually has his hands in his mouth, flaps and finger flicks. We have been working on having him hold his own hands together. In the video you can see K.C. waiting for his Big Brother to get off the train. He gets antsy but has his hands together! Just look at the beginning of the video! He does a great job, it's a first that we have seen him trying to keep it together with what we have been teaching him. His ABA teacher was thrilled for K.C. when I played the video. I am so proud of him too. Sorry the video is so grainy, I didn't have the usual camera that day :(


Niksmom said...

Tina, I am so thrilled to read about (and see) the changes in KC since you took him out of school!

And the girls with the bounce house? That was so wonderful of them to do that for him! Yay!

Melissa H said...

That was EXACTLY the part that affected me too, Tina. I was shaking my head and agreeing with Lexi's mom. We can't make people value our kids and make them realize that, just because they're different, doesn't mean that they don't have opportunity and ability. The other part that really got me was when Neal's mom and fiance were at the sader dinner and the grandfather of the fiance said, "I just wish that he would be a good boy" and the fiance said, "He IS a good boy." It is just such ignorance in our society, still. I'd like to think that it comes solely from the older generation... but it spans across all ages (and ignorances).
Rick and I had a serious conversation about this on Saturday because there are some kids in the neighborhood who have already decided to snicker at Conor. He tried to say "hi guys!" and talk to them at the playground and they ignored him and snickered under their breath. Rick was furious. I told him that those types of kids come from those types of PARENTS and it has nothing to do with his autism. If it weren't that, they'd pick on him about his height. Or his hair. Or his laugh. Or who knows what else. Mean kids will find something to be mean about. We were both picked on, too.

I love KC's video. So proud of him!!!

kristina said...

Really great to know what you thought of the movie----even more to see KC "in action"!

Marla said...

I found the film to be very powerful also. I have written two posts on it this week. I can not stop thinking about it.

Great pictures of the kiddos!

Casdok said...

KC is doing so well! The picnic sounds wonderful, i know just how you felt when someone does just that little bit extra.
Intereting about the musical, i have yet to see it.

kristi said...

I didn't watch the entire video, my stupid home computer !!##!!!??? was acting up but I did see that part where she typed DAMAGED and I bawled! Oh, I don't want my baby to ever feel he is damaged. He is precious to me.

A Bishops Wife said...

Easter Seals id having their "Big Day" here in central park on April 8th. I am looking forward to it. Easter Seals has been Great and I love supporting them.

I am glad you all had fun!

Melinda said...

I am very proud of KC!

Amy said...

Yeah KC! I also watched the movie and felt the same way. I was touched by Neil - the non verbal autistic boy. I, too, make sure that my son doesn't feel "damage" in anyway - and make sure that no one makes him feel that way.

Best wishes!


Lora said...

You know what Tina? I believe that because you are so very observant of KC and all that he does that you are such an incredible and loving mother to the boys and that no matter what happens or does not happen, that they know and understand how much they are cared for and loved. I cannot imagine that KC would ever say that he feels "damaged" because you help him to be the best that he can be and pour you heart out to help him feel accepted and understood.

I always love to see videos of the boys, thanks for sharing, they are both so darn handsome! We love you guys bunches and send lots and lots of hugs!

Donetta said...

Wow he is so...thriving! oh ya!

Noman Rajput said...

yeah its great.