Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Max's best friend in the whole, wide world

It's Sabrina, of course. Like any bff's, they giggle together, sometimes have it out with each other and can usually be found hanging at the local bar. (Kidding! They never fight. Right.) Sabrina's very protective of him. She speaks to Max in this sing-songy voice when he's agitated (it sounds like "Maaaaa-aaaaaax"), strokes his hair with her chubby little hand when he's hurt and proudly announces when he comes to her school, "That's my brother!" She's two years younger than he is and yet, because of his disabilities, she's more like his big sister.

Max doesn't have the biggest social life; he visits with my friends' kids and there's this great special-needs "kids' camp" he goes to on Sunday mornings, but I haven't gone out of my way to make playdates with kids who have cerebral palsy or other disabilities. This leaves me feeling guilty, and I keep meaning to make plans with kids in Max's class (he's at a school for the disabled). Then somehow, I never do. Maybe it's denial. While I like having Max around normally-developing kids, I also think it would be good for him to be with kids more like himself. I need to get going on that. Sabrina will understand.

Word of the day: O-BA-MA!


  1. Big, exciting surprise waiting for you at

  2. Aw, shucks, thanks for the Uber Amazing Blog award.

  3. I have three children, the oldest has developmental delays. I too have found that my daughter (the middle child between two boys) has taken on the role of oldest. She used to complain why wasn't I born first. Not sure if it is a girl thing.

    As far as the playdates, make the first call. We've had a few play dates with classmates and it was great. The difficult part is because my son goes to a special needs school that pulls students from 9 different counties, friends or classmates are not always closeby. We got lucky. My son's two best buds are only about 15 - 20 minutes away.

    Another great thing is birthday parties... special needs kids don't get to go to as many, so having one for your own child is important. The difficult part is finding the right place. We've gone to Turtle Back zoo and a bowling alley for ours...both were great fun and accessible.

  4. I think it's good to find a 'mix' of playmates. BC is only 4 and attends a mainstream child care centre one day a week. Next year it's mainstream kinder two days a week. I value the experience and confidence it will give him, even if there are, and will be, tough days. He got invited to one party earlier this year, and I admit when he got the invite, I cried because I was so pleased.
    BC also attends a specialised early intervention program for kids with CP and I LOVE the friends he's making there. I make an effort for them to have playdates together and I hope they are lifelong friendships too because they're going to have shared experiences and challenges. I really hope they'll grow up to support each other in the 'big bad world'.
    I agree make the first call for the Play Dates. It's also great for us mums. Some of my best friends now are mums who are going through similar journeys to me. It's great to not feel alone.

    BTW, that's a gorgeous pic! You have beautiful children ;-)

  5. I agree a mix of playmates is preferable, but not always possible. The neighborhood kids here just move to fast for my son to keep up. He has his own circle within his special school that he is comfortable in... they accept him for who he is... that doesn't happen often in the real world... We signed him up and he has played on the town t-ball team with regular kids for 2 years and the other boys were kind and accepting, but not ready to be best friends just yet...the coaches were great too. At least most of them were, a few saw my son as an easy out and took advantage only to disgrace themselves in front of their peers for being ruthless... it's t-ball for pete's sake...

  6. I know what you mean, Max just can't keep up with other kids around here. We had a block party this summer with one of those big water slides, and Max was only able to navigate it by crawling. He was having the time of his life, but some of the other kids were so impatient and kept glaring at him and saying "Get him out of there!" I basically ignored them, Max was having the time of his life and the slide operator finally told the boys to shut up!

  7. Gorgeous photo of the two of them!!! Your post show what a lovely family you all are and how much of a loving mama you are, too. Congrats on a great blog, too!

  8. I should clarify my 'mix' comment. YES, it's hard and doesn't work in every setting. Outdoor parties and big groups can be tough. My lovely boy can't really keep up either if kids are playing very physical games, so if we have play dates we make sure it's doing things that he can manage. For example, if we're indoors - pretend play activities like making train tracks or playing shops etc. As he gets older, I am guessing board games will be a big hit. If we're outside, sandpits are great as is playing with remote control cars ;-). Finding a hill in a park for rolling down with his little friends just thrills my son to bits. Also, keeping it small to just a few other kids and a mum/s who knows how to help keep things fair and not too rough ;-). I can see it's going to get harder as he gets older, but I think you just have to work out what works and what doesn't and take it from there ;-).
    Ellen, I think you handled the waterslide situation well, but the slide operator should have spoken up straight away. I am glad Max had such a good time - shows he is confident and assertive ;-).


Thanks for sharing!

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