Some people wonder why Ziggy responded to Holly the way he did... awe shucks... everytime I explain it my eyes fill with tears. Because, I remember the exact moment I turned around and they were eye to eye. I remember how sick he was that week. And, I remember the end result... that quiet little voice coming from the back seat on the way back home from Culver City. How he expressed that he had just experienced his best day ever. He didn't yell it, there were no exclamation marks. He just stated a fact. And, not to toot my own horn here, but, I throw down on some pretty fun adventures for Ziggy and his sister Angelina Lillie... but, no Holly and Rodney and their children trumped me in one day. LOL! No bruised ego here at all. I don't know if others understand what it is like to feel like no one gets you accept for your momma. He understands within himself the things that others say are weird or unwanted in social situations. Yet, to have another person look at you and talk to you as if you were NORMAL... and that person not be a part of your blood line. Not an auntie (well now she is to him... hahaha I think it was those cheekbones that through him off), nor uncle, nor father or grandfather. A person that is just kind hearted because that is who they are... this is Holly to my Ziggy. She made him feel unashamed of who he was... and I believe she does that for all the children and families that she meets. I took this little snippet from youtube to show you how she will continue to affect so many lives with her truth. Just the sharing of her experience.
Funny thing is I had seen parts and pieces of this show when it aired and I did not read Jenny's book at the time. Why would I if (I thought) it didn't pertain to my life? Yet, for no other reason other than it was in the sale bin at a book store, I purchased Louder Than Words by Jenny McCarthy. In it she described so many things that I had missed when I had my Ziggy... down to the doctor writing in his health records that he had a bad reaction to his shots. MISSED IT! The odd thing about possibly having a child in the spectrum when you are in the denial stages, you never say, "Hey that sounds like my boy!" I actually thought poor Holly and Jenny and continued vacumming. Crazier... I was told I had to take him off all gluten/wheat and that was why he was so lethargic and sick (he was almost three then) I MISSED THAT TOO! I do see now that there is this big umbrella of asd issues. And, our children fall here and there under it. And, through mothers like Holly even Jenny it's up to us as mothers to catch them. I haven't barely scrathed the surface on the final diagnoses or how to come to a full recovery. Yet, lately all of the old signs that I had missed have been coming out of the wood works. My mother (whom is the one I really could not live without and whom remembers everything about her only grandson) said, Do you remember when the school sent you a flyer referencing that there would be a parent night discussing Autism? And, that they even stated that they had only sent the flyer to parents that they felt would be interested in attending. Noooooooooo! I told my mother I don't remember this at all. She insisted on me checking my email, going back to that time frame. And, there it was. The school was gently coaxing me to the truth... they wanted me to see the signs they saw in my son. And, as I re-read it I remembered that I had received it and thought, they must have accidently sent me this information. Never did I think at that time and this was January 2009 that autism was the deal. I didn't start truly researching until around a year later. I even took a diagnoses of anxiety for Ziggy. (If it weren't for his father insisting something was wrong with him, I think I would have kept those rose colored glasses on... even though I was fighting with him stating that he was fine and NORMAL! I would go home and reflect on each of the quirky things his father pointed out and think to myself, could this be true? The denial was thick.) Anxiety vs. Autism...the autism seemed a bit harsh. Let's just say by the time he ended up in home schooling last year and the kind-hearted teacher he reported to had the courage to speak to me-- at least I could say by that time I had a little light shining through my window regarding some of that happy toe walking, the repetitive conversations, the language processing issues- that to me were issues with his hearing... I was still checking his ears because of his responses. I think to finally be around other parents and children, if only a day and to see so many different degrees of asd's I suppose some parents would've wanted to cry seeing other children who were diagnosed acting just like their own child. But, not me... and I know know not Ziggy. He felt the most relaxed playing or withdrawing that he had ever in his life. Afterall, he for the first time realized it was okay to jump out of your skin because something was to loud or not to look someone else in the eye. And, how did he know it was okay? No one made a big deal about it... making him have to look up to see if they had missed his reactions. And, realizing nope, everything is seen but YOU ARE SAFE HERE.
I post the youtube video for some of my followers on twitter... with emphasis on the African American followers that just can't believe that their child could have any of these issues. I have come so far from the first days of Ziggy's life... and I look back and feel like a nut for missing all the clues. I think it is important for one sister-mother to the next to always throw out a lifeline and say, "just maybe". A little seed to make you think.
So, to Holly thanks for all of your support for all of the families. Thanks for giving him that one day... because of it as I stated in a previous blog entry he was able to return to school last year with a new since of I can do it! And, to see him this year... and he often reflects on his meeting with you... funny reflections, "Did they name Hollywood after Holly?" or sweet reflections, "I think she is like our angel..." That one made me close the door after tucking him in and letting out a few tears. Because, if all of the advocates had half of the heart that you and your family share... I just wonder, what the future of these children can be. Because, if he feels special from one day of BELONGING... then what can he or any other child feel like if they belonged every day.
Shayla Jones A.K.A Free Shayla
Thanks to all of the www.4ziggy.blogspot.com supporters with great emphasis to the beautiful group of family and friends that sent these words of encouragement when Ziggy was elected to represent his class in the student council. (Update: Last night cold feet struck him and he blurted out, "I don't want to do student council anymore!" I asked why and he said so simply, "because I don't understand..." I know what he is pulling in from conversations and what he is missing so I knew this would come. So, I explained to him what his job would entail, almost listing it - as this would make any aspie personality feel calmer. After he understood, he exclaims- which is out of character for the little Eeyore... "I want to do that!" LOL! So, we are back to square one. Congratulations Ziggy for your win as student council representative. Told you, you were my little Barack. I love you... and yes baby you can do anything that you set your mind to with a little hardwork and perseverance. I love you and so do they:
From Twitter: (for those that read my blog from updates on facebook, do some research on lemonade4autism and HollyRod4kids you will be very impressed! And may even have the urge to donate... I love those charitable feelings!)
@lemonade4autism Check our inspirations out and Follow @FreeShayla and @Addicted2Malik our lemonade Angels
@carrielopez0827 @FreeShayla CONGRATS! Give him extra hugs.
@HollyRod4kids @FreeShayla SO excited for Ziggy! #Yeshecan!!!!
Thanks to Holly for listing me on twitter under: @hollyrpeete/autism and @hollyrpeete/autismsupamommy <--- And, I do have a cape for this one- it has a cheetah print lining. HAHAHA! Love you!
Thanks to Facebook family and friends (I wish I could name all of you!)
To my mother and father (Dad seriously? Okay, I have to say dad's real name just in case Halle Berry ever reads the blog, Willie Murphy--- LOL!) Thank you for all of your support and facebook love everytime Ziggy does anything new and wonderful.
To my brother and sister(in-law) you know I don't call you an in-law child, we've known eachother tooooo long!) Thanks for always loving him for who he is without any embarrassement or needing to change him. Corey,could you be the best uncle in the world? We think so!!! And, Christina thanks for always providing a safe and comforting home for him to visit and relax.
To my husband: I don't get to mention you all very often, but, to the hubby, thanks for talking to him about comic books at length even at bedtime if neccessary. Thank you for being the Incredible Hulk when he loved him and then skipping ahead to long winded conversations about Dragon Ball Z because that was his "new thing". It never hurt that you still pick up Popular Science and influence the idea that being a mad scientist was okay. LOL! Let's just stray from the mad part. Sometimes I think, boy oh boy good thing I married you I would not be of any assistance to him in those areas. Thanks for really loving him and accepting him even if that causes you not to accept all this "aspergers stuff" as you call it. I know that this is because you like him just the way he is.
To OUR Aunt Michelle thanks for standing in the gap and really being the very best GREAT aunt a little boy can have. He just thinks you are so wonderful. I enjoy the way you two go skating and come back laughing and joking I could hear this all the time. Thanks for being so patient and loving, especially that he would like to be home on the even numbers- no odd! LOL! (To those that don't know what that means... Ziggy likes to come home from skating at 9:00 or 9:30 no 9:15's. hahaha! And, Auntie understands and obliges him. hehehe. Lord we are blessed to have her.