Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 15, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 18, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers

One of my favorite childhood books is "Winnie the Pooh".

I have read it many times as a child. I have read it to both my children.

I am inspired by A. A. Milne's ability to lovingly portray characters and their quirky attributes.

Eeyore, the introvert, with his slow pace and monotone voice.

Piglet with his constant worry and anxiety.

And of course Pooh, and his eternal love of honey.

For each of Milne's characters, I can think of someone in my life who is similar.

Owl, the wise advisor, is my Mom, Evelyn.

Kanga, the consummate mother, is my sister, Christine.

And Winnie the Pooh, without a doubt is my son, Nicholas.

What I love most about Milne's writing, is despite the flaws these characters possess: anxiety, depression, nervousness or obsession, each character is lovable. Each character is valued. Each character is considered an important and unique addition to the Hundred Acre Wood.

When I read "Winnie the Pooh" I am reminded of my son, Weston.

He is, of course........Tigger!

T.......I.....double G.........errrrrrrr!

In fact, I often wonder if A.A. Milne had a son diagnosed with ADHD?

These lyrics hold much clarity into the personality of a hyperactive child.


The wonderful thing about Tiggers

Are Tiggers are wonderful things....

Their tops are made out of rubber

Their bottoms are made out of springs

They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun

But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is that I'm the only one..

Yes, I'm the only one.

I am the mother of two children diagnosed with special needs. And although my son Nicholas is diagnosed with PWS, a severe and devastating disease, it is my son, Weston who struggles most in navigating his way through this world.

Because he looks so "normal" and ADHD is not considered a REAL disorder, he is judged, scorned, disciplined and outcast by the rest of the world. His hyperactivity, lack of social skills and bouncy energy cause others to avoid him. Students, teachers, administrators, and parents alike, often do not embrace Weston's unique personality. He is not valued. He is not understood. He often feels like he is an outcast. He feels like he is truly.........the only one.

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I am struggling with Weston's transition into the middle school. I am struggling to enlighten his teachers so that they may embrace his disability and recognize that it is indeed real. I am struggling to get them to realize the importance of making him feel good about himself.

I think that A.A. Milne had a vision of this world. A vision that created a world where everyone is valued and loved. Everyone is important no matter how quirky, no matter how anxious, no matter how hyperactive.

A world that looks a lot like the Hundred Acre Wood.

I think I will bring a copy of "Winnie the Pooh" to Weston's next IEP meeting.

Tiggers are wonderful things
T...I..double G---er


The Henrys said...

I have never thought of Winnie the Pooh as you have just described. I like him, but I never really got excited about Pooh and friends. Now, I think I love them all! Take the book with you to the IEP and let us know how it goes!

BLOOM - Parenting Kids With Disabilities said...

I have always loved Winnie the Pooh and my son, at 16, still adores it!

You're so right about the characters. They are so human and real, and hence so lovable.

If only the world were more like the Hundred Acre Woods.

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