Sam is our middle child and our family clown and we adore him. When I first arrived at the hospital to pick him up, a social worker brought me into another room to talk about certain issues. She made sure I knew that the meconium had tested positive for Methamphetamines and we discussed various effects that might have on Sam.
She continued, “When he cries, he is . . . he is just SO CUTE!” Her positive response to something I had started to worry about, surprised me and as she laughed and described more about him I started to see things differently.
Her comments of: “He is just all our favorite” “The nurses adore him” “We call him our One-Eyed Jack” changed my attitude about Sam’s palsy. What she was able to do for me was “Reframe” my view and opinion about the palsy. Instead of it being a negative, it turned into a unique character trait that made him irresistible.
|The day we picked up Sam from the hospital and the AMAZING social worker in the background. She taught me a vital skill in dealing with the special needs of my children.|
Let me explain this another way again. Our son Levi has autism and he has always been large for his age. From a young age, he has had behaviors that are difficult to manage at times and his large size added to that difficulty. To keep him from acting out on a sibling I would often step in between him and the sibling and gently restrain him. This became more and more difficult the larger he became. During prayer one day, I was “discussing” (another word for venting) about this problem to God. I was getting hurt, I couldn’t carry him anymore away from the others and it was bothering me. My complaint was that if Levi was going to be aggressive and violent, couldn’t he at least be the smallest of the children?
A few weeks later I was talking with a friend about bullying at school and I realized that I didn’t worry about people physically bullying Levi. Because he was so large and tall, he wasn’t the target of people who would physically confront him. All of a sudden my perspective changed! I realized that his size wasn’t a hindrance at all. I was grateful he was large enough to deter any bullies at school. Who would pick on a 6 foot 200 pound 7th grader? No one! That is one issue we have never had to deal with for Levi. This perspective shift didn’t change the fact that at home I still would have to restrain a 200 pound child at times, but it changed my attitude about it. I became grateful for his size and was glad he was so large.
Sam has learned some control over his facial muscles, but he will always sleep with one eye slightly open and his smile will always be crooked. But instead of seeing that as a problem, it makes Sam, SAM! I can’t imagine him without his “devil may care” crooked smile and mischievous look. It has become his trademark.