Two Steps Forward, You Step Back

Remember the July 4th post about Javan crying in the swimming pool for no apparent reason? And refusing to talk to anyone about it? Well, today, we were swimming and after a while he started getting grumpy. But, did he cry? No. Was he rude? No. He simply said, “I need alone time.” Yes, his face expressed anger. Yes his teeth were gritted. But he restrained himself. He spoke.

“What a wonderful way to use your words!” said both parents, overflowing with pride. “Take all the time you need.”

Then comes the buzz kill. “I would have been smacked if I had ever said that,” said Nameless Bystander. (and no, if you’re reading this, I’m not angry.)

Not only was our joy stamped on, but the child heard that! How confusing it must be to always be saying and doing things that upset, bother, or otherwise annoy others without knowing why. But here, he’s made an amazing choice to overcome his natural fight or flight instinct over Whatever Was Bothering Him, and he immediately gets conflicting feedback.

He doesn’t always process who says what or when or why or who’s telling the truth and why is someone not telling the truth….and by the time this amount of processing even begins to occur, he’s forgotten what he was thinking about. What he probably heard was: “What an amazing way to use your words! I would have been smacked if I had ever said that.” Huh?

To the parents of special needs kids, I say this…don’t let ’em get you down! You celebrate that small victory like it’s big…because it’s BIG. Onlookers may see it as small, because if their kids said it or did it, it would be small, or even rude. But their kid didn’t say it or do it. YOURS did.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amy Pruitt
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 21:02:06

    Krista, every time I read this blog I am more impressed. Not only are you a gifted writer, you are amazingly “plugged in” to Javan. I speak with a lot of moms with special needs children, and most are so busy listening for normalcy that they do not hear the clues that their actual-here-and-now kids are giving them. So know that you and he are a gift to one another, and you are navagating this with great strength and immense grace.


    • bipolaraspiemom
      Jul 07, 2011 @ 22:03:38

      Wow, thanks Amy. That is incredibly encouraging to hear from another mother of special needs kids. Sometimes I feel that all I do is complain and give negativity the spotlight…so thank you for the compliment! Hope you and yours are doing well! Send those “other Mom’s” the link to my blog. 😉


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