Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, 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.




Thursday, March 31, 2011

Are you Serious? It's April Fools Day!

My son Nicholas has an honest heart.

No matter how hard he tries, he just can't lie.

"Nicholas," I'll say, "who used all these band-aids?"

"Ohhh, I dunno," he'll answer coyly, followed immediately by....

"I opened the band-aids Mummy, I'm sorry."

Today at school, Nick's teachers, Mrs. D., and Mrs. M., tried their best to teach Nicholas how to successfully perform an April Fool's Day joke. No easy task, I can assure you. Despite the fact that Nicholas is a lover of make-believe, when it comes to pretending that he's sad, mad or unhappy, he just doesn't get it.

Children diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome often have trouble understanding abstract concepts. Is there anything more abstract than April Fools Day? Still Nicholas has been counting the days until this fun-filled day arrives.

My afternoon pick-up routine is to first pick-up Weston at the middle school. We drive over to the elementary school together and wait for Nicholas on the benches inside the school. Today, I am waiting on the benches and chitchatting with some of the other Mom's who are also waiting for their children.

"Mom!" Weston shouts and hits me on the arm, distracting me from my "Mom" discussions.

As I look up, I see Nicholas heading toward us. He is accompanied by Mrs D on one side of him and Mrs. M on the other. They do not look happy.

Oh no, I think to myself, not another day filled with tantrums. I take a deep breath.

Nicholas however, looks kind of funny. He smiles at me and comes running over at first. Suddenly, he stops himself short while Mrs M whispers something in his ear. His face suddenly changes as he puts his head down and tries to be stern. As he approaches me now he starts to smile again. As I hug him, he covers his eyes and shouts...

"April Fools Day!"

Mrs M, Nicholas's beloved teacher, starts to laugh and explains patiently to Nicholas that he must first tell me he had a bad day and use his "sad" face. Nicholas tries again. This time showing me his very sad face.

"Mom, he said, I had a bad day." He puts his head down sorrowfully and covers his eyes again but this time he opens them up and spreads out his arms as he shouts once again...

"April Fools Day!"

Mrs D starts to laugh, Weston starts to giggle, Mrs. M laughs and tells Nicholas what a good job he did. The entire line of mother's waiting on the bench for their children, laugh out loud and smile at Nicholas. But the brightest face of all, is of course Nicholas's, as he finally got a chance to practice his joke on Mummy!

Thank you Mrs D and Mrs M, we love you dearly.

Happy April Fool's Day to all!