Susan's Blog

Monday, December 18, 2006

Nat Speaks

I’ve been out all morning, and I came home to this lovely email:

hi mom,
i hope you are having a
good day. i am having fun at school.
love nat

I just about flipped my wig, getting an email from Nat! But I don’t wear a wig, so I just grinned my face off. Nat speaks! Much better than anything I’ve ever heard from Autism Speaks.

This weekend was a good one for Natty Boy. A lot of initiating, a lot of action on his part. Ned and I both took him to his Special Olympics basketball, so that I could see what it was all about. I met Coach Jim, and saw all of Nat’s teammates, a group of DD teenage boys whom we have known forever. One of the kids is Sam, whom I mention in my book. Sam is now 16, and quite the young man. He looks like a more voluptuous Brad Pitt (he’s a little hefty from certain meds, I believe, but totally gorgeous anyway). And there’s Phil, whose mom was in my very first support group. So there I was, with one of my oldest friends (Sam’s mom), and Phil’s mom, and some newer friends. Such a tight community.

It never fails to blow my mind to see all these kids playing hoops together, and the moms just smiling and gabbing, and the dads just yelling, “Get the ball!” We have all come such a long way. Speaking of grinning one’s face off, Nat was smiling ear-to-ear for the entire time, also dribbling the ball and shooting really well, and staying with the team. I kept thinking, “I wish the newspapers would send reporters to these practices. It would go a long way to dispell myths and misconceptions about what disability means. What the heck does it man, anyway? Nothing very dis-abled there. Yeah, obviously they all have their moments, when things get really difficult and scary; adolescence and autism can be a volatile mix. But we are up to the challenge, because for the most part, these boys of ours are a lot of fun and a joy to watch develop. In the end, they are just a bunch of goofy teenage boys having fun. And Nat is already better at basketball than any of the rest of his family! And better at it than he was last year; as always, the initial exposure wasn’t so great, but it laid the foundation to improve at it this year. For Nat, all you need is familiarity, and then once he gets it, he loves it and internalizes it, makes it his own.


Hooray! This is inspiring and encouraging.

— added by mrs. gilb on Monday, December 18, 2006 at 3:39 pm

He asked a question. He sent an email!

Go Nat!!!!

— added by Anonymous on Monday, December 18, 2006 at 4:34 pm

nice to hear some Nat stories. would love to hear more day to day stuff. Most of the blogs talk about the younger kids, and you have so much experience in having an older child on the spectrum. Nat is almost all grown up! Please share more stories in the future.

— added by Anonymous on Monday, December 18, 2006 at 4:45 pm

I can’t wait until Nat gets a blog… of course, he’ll have to screen for nasty comments from people like John Best, but it would be great, wouldn’t it???

Congrats, Nat!

— added by Ms. Clark on Monday, December 18, 2006 at 4:54 pm

Natty’s Blog!
What a great idea! I may start putting it together tonight for him, after I come back from my class.

— added by Susan Senator on Monday, December 18, 2006 at 4:56 pm

Nat’s blog; that would be great!
I’m really happy for you!

— added by peer model on Monday, December 18, 2006 at 5:05 pm

Ooooh…a blog by Nat. Now that would definitely be a blog I’d check out every day. πŸ™‚

— added by Wendy on Monday, December 18, 2006 at 5:33 pm

Yes, what everyone else says. I’d like to see the day through Nat’s perspective. I am one year, three months,and four days older the Nat(8/11/1988). Though I can’t entirely connect and sympathize with him since he has a more severe form (I’m an Aspie).

— added by Adam from Iowa on Monday, December 18, 2006 at 6:08 pm

This is great :o)

— added by Kev on Monday, December 18, 2006 at 7:00 pm