pretend

“I am neither an optimist nor pessimist, but a possibilist.”

– Max Lerner

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“Child has no discernible play skills.”  

~ Neuropsychologist #1

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“She came to us with absolutely no functional play skills.”

~ Integrated preschool teacher

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“Child presents with a marked lack of joint attention. There is no attempt to share enjoyment or engage with others. “

~ Neuropsychologist #2

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“I gave Clara a nice hug.”

~ Brooke, 2012

35 thoughts on “pretend

  1. …and therein lies the joy! Brooke keeps on defying them. Leaps and bounds. Leaps and bounds. If awesomeness is not a word, let’s make it one.

    Love you,
    Mom

  2. Absolutely wonderful!! and EVERYTIME my little guy does something that we were told he may “never do” or”couldn’t do” – I just want to shout from the roof tops that YES HE CAN AND HE JUST DID!!! I love these posts – just adds to the hopefullness that we should all share!! Thank You!!

  3. This is phenomenal. But it is really no surprise to me. You and Luau, AND Katie give Brooke so much love and support. You model tirelessly for her, you light the way at every turn. Like any of us, she has so much opportunity in front of her when surrounded with love of those who believe in her without a doubt.

    Keep believing.

    She’ll keep blowing you away ;0)

    xo

  4. proving the nay-sayers wrong…she’ll be doing a lot of that in the course of her life. it’s her thing…it’s what she does. she is an amazing, super-sweet kiddo, it’s so nice to get these wonderful glimpses into her life.

  5. So amazing! Love to see the progress. Needed that today as the pessimist hanging over my son’s head is his dad and I can’t give any feedback or have any insights without my husband Eeyore saying “he’ll never be able to function in a normal setting.” All this because at the age of 4 he’s having some trouble following directions and picking up toys. *sigh* just one of those days.

  6. I got chills of excitement as I scrolled through the pictures of Brooke with her doll. What a perfect example of pretend play. As an Autism mama, these pictures brought such joy and pride…I know it didn’t happen overnight, and I also know just how hard you have all worked for this to be. What a beautiful reward. I loved her quote best.

  7. I only ever wear waterproof mascara because of your blog. Never believe the nay-sayers. They never take into account the power of love and a family’s determination to help their child.

  8. Wahoooooooooo!!!!!!!

    From someone else who heard the words “no symbolic play” far too many times to count… Know that over here in Israel I am standing on the roof and cheering as loud as I possibly can. What a ray of sunshine on a very difficult day.

  9. Go Brooke! I have these same thoughts when Ryan runs into the kitchen, touches my arm, and says “are you alright?” And when he snuggles Richie, his three year old little brother, while he watches TV. And when he walks around sporting a fireman’s hat. SO proud of all our brick-wall-breaking kids!!!!!!!!

  10. autism is not a disability so much as it is a completely different timeline of achievement. our babies are dealing with sensory problems and communication issues that are second nature to ‘normal’ kids and must sort through all that input FIRST. it will and does come to them in their own time. waiting is hard, success is beyond sweet.

  11. With words and pictures u perfectly captured something not regularly perceived as a concrete concept. Something mostly considered to be an abstract virtue that is merely a substitute for use during times when other, more satisfying virtues seem unreachable, like during the difficulties of autism’s wrath. But if one finds it, and holds onto it tightly as you (and I) have, the possibilities for our children are immeasurable-no matter how distinguished, knowledgable or professional an “expert’s” predictions may be.
    HOPE. For those of us who have been holding onto it all along, KNOW VERY WELL, thanks to the moments like the one you’ve described perfectly here, it has ALWAYS been (& will CONTINUE to be) for our children, the most important intervention of all. Hope is more powerful than any vitamin or medication, more effective than any therapy & it is the motivating force behind everything I do for my son. There were times hope was all I had left. My son has defied all odds and proved EVERYBODY wrong. BC I had hope, faith, & I always believed in him!
    When my son was 2 an “expert” came to my home and told me he’d never be able to go to K at a regular PS, never speak full intelligible sentences and prob need to be in a group home when he got older. That moment was stuck in my head last year as I cried tears of joy & watched my big boy proudly sing Katy Perry’s “Firework” on stage with over 60 kids at his Kindergarten Graduation ceremony in our neighborhood elementary school. Then, I wanted to hunt down that woman and say “Ha ha Told ya so b#%@$!” lol
    Now in 1st gr mainstreamed w aide he does much more than just speak full intelligible sentences all the time. He reads stories (just below gr level),does spelling tests, plays tag w friends, gets jokes in tv shows, hugs his brother nonstop & tells me he loves me every nite. He is my hope. And that’s all I need. Never give up. Never give up hope.

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