Storytime: Kids Say the Darndest Things

As many of you already know, our son has classic autism and is in a special class at school for children on the spectrum. A few years ago, he had a classmate who was very talkative and loved to ask a lot of questions. He was fascinated by my wheelchair and often said things like “OMG! Your legs still don’t work!” or “You can’t feel your legs. Can I touch them and see if I can feel them?”

For obvious reasons, the teacher tried to explain that it’s not really appropriate to focus on someone’s disability and encouraged him to make small talk like they practiced in their social skills group. The next time I visited he was prepared with a long list of socially acceptable questions. Some examples include :

Where did you go to school?

Did you play sports in middle school?

Did you play sports in high school?

Who are your parents?

Did they play sports?

What is your favorite section of the library?

After he quizzed me throughly, he asked my husband the same list of questions until he came to the part about his parents. Completely serious, he asked if my husband and I had the same parents. Of course, our first reaction was to laugh, but then we explained that we are married and N’s parents. He was very confused and got a little agitated.

“But my mom said, only normal people can get married and have kids,” he said sadly.

“When was this?” I asked.

“She was talking to my dad. She said I would never have a wedding or a real life because I’m not normal. Are you sure N isn’t your brother? ”

This broke my heart, because I have worried about the same thing. The world can be cruel. I know that my N is a wonderful person, but could someone see past his struggles and accept him as is? I decided that I would tell this child what I plan on telling N in the future.

I began “Honey, I think you misunderstood your mom. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right person, but when you do they won’t see you as different. They will see you as special and the perfect person for them.”

My darling husband continued with ” I have loved being married to GG and I wouldn’t change anything about her, including the wheelchair. You don’t have to get married, but that’s your choice to make when you’re older. You can do anything you want. ”

The moral of the story is that no one’s future is set in stone, but especially with kids. A diagnosis can be a stumbling block, but it doesn’t dictate what we can do. Also it’s important to remember that our children are always watching and our attitudes can affect them tremendously. Let them see themselves through our eyes and see how awesome they truly are.

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Carrot Smoothie

Ingredients :

2 bananas

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup vanilla almond milk

2 tbsp. creamy almond butter

4-6 ice cubes

2 dates

Directions :

Combine ingredients and blend until smooth.

Salt Water Taffy

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbs. cornstarch

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt

3 tbs. unsalted butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Grease a 9″ square pan with 1 tablespoon butter. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, water and salt. Stir until well combined. Add 2 tablespoons butter and stir constantly until the sugar is completely melted. Do not stir after the sugar melts. Cook until the candy reaches 260° on a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flavoring extract and food coloring. Pour the candy into the prepared pan and allow to cool enough to handle. Remove the candy from the pan and pull until the candy is opaque and satiny. Pull the candy in 1/2″ strips. Cut into 1″ pieces and wrap in waxed paper.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Ingredients :

2 bananas

2 tbsp. creamy cashew butter

1 cup chocolate almond milk

2 tbsp. raw cacao powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

5-6 ice cubes

Directions :

Combine ingredients and blend until smooth.

Popeye’s Smoothie

You can barely taste the spinach.

Ingredients :

2 cups cucumber slices

1 lemon peeled

1 cup baby spinach

2 bananas

½ cup soymilk milk

7 ice cubes

Directions:

Combine ingredients and blend until smooth.

Cucumber Water

Drinking enough water is very important for your health, but it can get boring. Flavoring it with a little fruit, veggies or herbs is a good low calorie option to jazz it up a bit. This is one of my favorites and it can be customized to suit your tastes. The mint is optional, but I think it complements the cucumber well.

Mint has been shown to relieve sinus issues, gastric problems, and can help reduce swelling and pain associated with arthritis. Cucumbers are high in potassium and very refreshing.

Ingredients:

1 Gallon of Filtered Water

7 Fresh Mint Leaves

1 Cucumber (sliced)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour for the flavors to meld.

Strawberry Topping

This is great on waffles and ice cream.

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and simmer until thickened slightly. Allow to cool slightly before serving.