1.19.2008

The Dawning of Self-Awareness

The scowl and furrowed brows warned me that trouble was afoot. The question came in fragments, indicative of her continued struggle with language, "Why I.... why doos... why have... a Mr. Joe at my school?" I answered this question easily enough, that Mr. Joe helped her learn how to talk, how to use her words. Her reply was blunt. "No. Need. Help."

The next question came in quick succession, so quickly that it caught me off-guard. "Why Annie not have a Mr. Joe at her school?" I faltered, stumbled over my words. Everyone is different, I told her. Everyone is good at something but may need help with another thing. You are a good reader and know how to count to 100. You just need a little bit of help with using your words. Annie is a good dancer, but she needs a little bit of help walking up the stairs.

She remained silent in response to my imperfect explanation, and I did not press the issue further. When the time is right, she will bring up the subject again. And I hope that next time I will find the words to tell her that despite our differences, we are all the same. And that differences are okay. Same but different, different but same.

11 comments:

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

I think your answer was perfect.

Same but different. Tolerance and understanding. Acceptance and assistance. Different but same.

Perfect.

kristen said...

Ditto what Lori said. Your answer WAS perfect.

Niksmom said...

Delilah, I think I may have to print this to file away so I can answer Nik when the inevitable time comes! Perfect answer.

kyra said...

i loved your answer.

i think it's one of those things that keeps coming up, over and over, all through these years and maybe into adulthood, you know?

Drama Mama said...

Delilah - tonight on FRONTLINE - Girls with Autism. Check it out!

And yes. Your answer WAS perfect. Can I borrow it?

Marla said...

I think what you said was great. Simple and to the point. I am sure she will bring it up again too. My M always asked me questions like that. You did wonderful. Good job mom!

tulipmom said...

I agree .... you couldn't have come up with a better answer.

Delilah said...

Lori- I love the tolerance and understanding, acceptance and assistance. Those are issues that will need to be addressed in the future, especially when Annie and Little Fella start asking questions.

Thanks everyone for your comments. I am planning on going to the library to find some books about this.

Maddy said...

You did great!

I always wish I could hit re-wind and have another go. I blame them myself, why can't they give us a tip off first - I'm about to ask you a very important question, please go away and prepare youself to give me a full and frank explanation with references and footnotes - thank you.
Best wishes

Maddy said...

Hmm no update since the 19th, is this a bad omen?
Best wishes

slouching mom said...

I agree with all the others. Your answer was spot on.