Being different…..

Months and months of training, of interpreting, of getting frustrated, of crying in kindy, at home, in the car, in the pram…..where ever we are, what ever we’re doing Jennifer always has something stimulate her, something to try to help her make that connection between her hands and the use she can get out of them.

She caught on gradually when we started, she went from being tight-fisted to open-handed, to touching and exploring at will.

But there’s a connection now, a cognitive break through!!

Where ever she is, sitting or laying, she’s using her hands to reach out and feel her surroundings, she’s making the her first connection to the “physical” world.

Scratching at the different textures
Scratching at the different textures

Seeing by touching, her only way.

It’s probably the most important of her achievements to date, the connection between her brain and hands has been made.

By touching her surroundings, whether it’s the car seat, the pram, the play mat or the couch, she’s building knowledge of the world around her, she’s putting things in their place.

Jennifer is special,in every way, but the gap between what she understands by using her hearing and what she understands about the physical world has grown bigger than it ever has.

There’s a cognitive problem there, but it is developing at least.

Jennifer has a way of telling you what she wants, she has a way of communicating…….sometimes it’s crying, sometimes it’s shouting, sometimes it’s talking, sometimes it’s smiling and laughing…..none the less, she’s telling you something!


So few people greet Jennifer properly, they keep their distance and say hey….

Maybe they’re scared, maybe they’re embarrassed, maybe they just don’t know what to do?

But there’s always someone who surprises us and comes right up close, holds her hand and then says hey…….perfect!

Not many notice it, but if you’re close enough and the surroundings are quiet enough she’ll reach out for you when you greet her…..

It’s so unbelievably important that she gets that recognition, that conformation that says ” I did it right, you really were where I thought you were and you wanted to say hey”

She calls out “hey” now, when things are quiet, and nobody is talking, a hey sound comes out like, “where is everyone?” I’m pretty sure I’ve heard “Emma”too!

Now it’s time to explore everything else, now it’s time to start “seeing” everything else that makes a noise, now it’s time to start to understand the world…..

Hmm i have no pants on!! Must be summer??!!
Hmm i have no pants on!!
Must be summer??!!

I often wonder if it’s necessary to understand the world, it’s not exactly the nicest of places, especially when you’re different.

Jennifer needs to be treated differently, but she doesn’t need to be mistreated.

Recently at kindy Jennifer’s kindy had put together an Opera, all the kids played a role, sung and danced and it was quite a good show.

All the kids except for Jennifer……

She wasn’t allowed, for fear she may cry and ruin it….

At first even we thought she shouldn’t, maybe it would be too much for her, but we thought about it and changed our minds.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the wish of everyone at kindy, many campaigned for Jennifer, but she got a no……

There’s a reason Jennifer cries, she can’t handle a noisy crowd and eat her food at the same time, it takes a lot of energy for her. She’s trying to interpret all the noises around her whilst concentrating on when the spoon is coming, it’s pretty straight forward really, even Emma understands that!

She’s scared of sudden loud noises, or people who put strange things in her hand and don’t tell her…

There’s always a reason, you just need to interpret it.

But she’s also an extremely social person, that loves music and games, and that likes being with small kids……

In the rehearsal for the opera she loved it, smiled and laughed and was generally really kind, and when we went to watch she sat in my lap and smiled and laughed during the whole show, except at the end when someone was shouting into the microphone….


Reaching out!
Reaching out!

There’s nothing we can do about the way people judge her, it’s just a part of being different.

Jennifer like every other child who’s different, should be the first person on the list, not the last. They need stimulation and activity much more than a child who is normal….

A child is a child, regardless of ability, race or religion.

They should never be discriminated!

This was a childrens opera, not phantom of the fucking opera, and last I checked Jennifer was still a child…….


3 thoughts on “Being different…..

  1. You are so right Ryan, she should have been part of the opera..! Love the last sentence and can hear your frustration! The more you know about Jennifer’s behaviour and reactions to the world around her the more you will be able to stand up for her rights in the future!
    I think it’s a good idea to let ‘new’ people know how to approach Jennifer as this will make them feel less insecure about greeting her 🙂 xx


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