Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Be gone joy-thief

I was elated when I read this blog post by Anchel Krishna at Today's Parent. It's about her daughter, who has challenges speaking, having a "real conversation" with words.

When asked about her day at school, Anchel's daughter offers up what she considers the most salient piece of information: "Cried a little bit," she tells her mom and grandmother, ignoring their specific questions. "She had a message, she had something she wanted to tell me... and she told me," Anchel writes.

I also felt heartache when I read Anchel's post. I will never hear my son say words like that, I thought.

Remember that old saying: Comparison is the thief of joy (Theodore Roosevelt)? I couldn't help comparing my son's abilities with Anchel's daughter's and feeling that twinge of regret and loss.

But then today, when my son got off the bus, he presented me with his own version of: "Cried a little bit."

In sign, he told me "I had a bad day and I couldn't stop blowing my nose (he does this when anxious). I'm sorry."

Like Anchel's daughter, my son was sharing what he wanted to tell me. And I had to think: Does it matter if it's not in audible words?


No, no, no, it does not matter if it's not audible words!!! Oh, your Ben communicated the same message as Anchel's daughter, what an amazing coincidence! This week, Nicholas told me in no uncertain terms that he was nervous about his dentist appointment. Right up to the minute we walked into the hospital clinic, he had his right hand in his mouth 'biting his nails' to tell me, "Mom, I'm so nervous!" No words, but we all understood, even the dentist. Sometimes gestures speak volumes and it's like Margaret Atwood says, "It's all about communicating what's in my head to your head".

I agree with Donna that it doesn't matter whether our kids communicate with audible words. My son struggles really hard with language and I struggle with not comparing his words to other children's his age. But you're right - comparison is a joy-thief.
Visiting from Love that Max.

Ditto on the other comments. I hadn't heard that quote before "Comparison is a joy thief." I like it; it's true for us for sure, too.

I hope that you were able to find out from the school why Ben felt he had a bad day and if there is anything you can do to help him feel better.