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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reactions to a video

I watched a YouTube video last night which really got to me. It was about Robert McNeil's (the PBS reporter) grandson, who is autistic. For whatever reason, I haven't watched a lot of video about other children with autism. Nick, the grandson, is very much like Janey. He's a bit higher functioning, talks a bit more, but his behavior, mannerisms, even little things like sleeve chewing and repeating and facial expressions, are so much like her. It made me think how it's almost like a tribe of people, the autistics. They are all separate, as autism makes people be, but they have so much alike. And why? I didn't agree with the vaccine ideas in the video, but it seems like there must be some reason. What makes these kids, so alike but popping up what seems like randomly? Here's the link to the video...

Another thing that really got me---the interview with Nick's 10 year old sister. She was too young to filter out the despair and sadness that goes along with having a brother like Nick. And the moment when her grandfather tries to minimize her pain was painful for me to watch, but so true to life---the words people say with all good intentions that as adults, you learn to brush aside, but that she addressed.

The bus riding was an example of what we all do to just try so hard to keep our children happy. We do things that might seem crazily over-indulgent at times, but that really are just intended to let a little kid have a happy part of their day, something that surely any parent would want for their child.

Anyway, what is my conclusion? I don't know. It helps to know about others out there doing what we do (and here I will insert a huge shout-out to you, Michelle!). It's scary to think about how many kids are so similar to Janey, for reasons we don't understand. And I just want to say to anyone out there reading this and raising a Janey, or a Nick, or a Lindsey---whether we know each other or not, we are all in this together.

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