Monday, July 2, 2012

Brave (special needs version)

Brave is getting past your fear of the pool. At 9, your body's so much stronger now, your legs able to carry you far on ground and kick-kick-kick in a pool. Your arms, though, are still too stiff to paddle. I've seen that look of terror on your face when you stumble and go under water, though your dad or I are always right there to grab you and lift you up. But you get a surge of confidence from a new tube...  

...and a lift from your sis.

Brave is exploring all the fun a pool has to offer, including dousing your daddy.

Brave is watching your sister go down a slide again and again and getting your nerve up. You wouldn't even go near the slide last year, so wary were you. And now?

Brave is holding your sister's hand and going down together, with Daddy there to catch you at the bottom.

Brave is being bold enough to try it alone. You sit at the top for five minutes, pondering. 

Brave is taking the plunge.


  1. Hi5! Sharing Love That Max 'Brave (special needs version) with #EnjoyHi5Autism networks.

  2. Teary and goose-bumpy. Way to go Max. You are awesome. :)

  3. GO MAX!!! So proud of you, dude! :)

  4. Awesome, Ellen - just awesome.

  5. Yeah Max Swimming takes alot of core strength.Its still hard for me at 14 well the backstroke is.My cousin with autism went down a big slide last year and had aa little incindent with a lifegaurd who thought he could not do it because he was flapping his hands and saying pash,pash"(splash,splash)people anyway great pictures love with a lift from your sis and dousing daddy.Ha ha Dave at least it was not you Ellen.By the way is Sabrina wearing swim trunks?

  6. That is so awesome! Go Max!

    I wish I had known last summer about my son's Autism - tried to put him into the baby pool w/o a good thorough introduction & letting him gradually find his comfort. So many of our friends' children his age LOVED their baby pools & it was said he would too. For our boy, he was clearly terrified, grabbing onto me when I picked him up in a way that I will never forget. And that was it for the pool last year.
    This weekend, we decided to give it another, slower go. We half-inflated the pool & only put a couple inches of water in along w/ a fav truck. We let our son just find his way over while playing in the yard & just let him splash w/ his hands while occasionally demonstrating for him that he could stomp in it like in a puddle if he wanted (he likes big muddy puddles, often in new shoes). He did put his one foot in twice (wearing sandals) - but couldn't go further - which was fine. He had a good time, got gradually thoroughly wet w/o really noticing it & wanted to do it again today (unfortunately, no chance - therapy all morning, heat index near 100 in the afternoon). Baby steps. If it takes several years for him to be more than a few inches deep in a pool - that's okay now that I understand. (Not that I don't sometimes see pics of NT kids loving swimming w/o some lingering sadness - and not that I don't get awfully tired of hearing about how "all" kids love it & how my son should take a swimming class, yada yada yada. My kid doesn't like chicken nuggets either. I know, he's weird & it's all my fault. Blah blah blah).
    Again - go Max & all kids who just need a little time - b/c not all kids are the same.

  7. Congratulations, Max. :) Alas, oddly enough, I saw the film. xD

  8. I think that sometimes being "special needs" gets too much emphasis. Sometimes you need to take off your "special needs glasses" when you look at Max, and just see him as a kid, as you want others to do. I would have loved this story even more if you had just titled it "Brave." It doesn't really matter that Max has CP -- the central point is that Max was able to overcome his fears and take on a new challenge. Kids do this all the time. It's part of growing and developing, and Max is obviously doing just that! You often point out that Max is more alike than different than kids in your neighborhood, and here's a perfect example. So, bravo for Max! He's growing and developing and trying out new things! Yay Max! Great job!

  9. I love your blog, and this one ("Brave") was awesome! Thanks for helping me to start my day with a smile on my face!

  10. Wonderful series of photos and definitions of Brave. We had a few brave moments over this last week as well - they are most definitely amazing.

  11. Thanks, all.

    Jenny, yes, it is all about baby steps—and TIME. It took me a very long while to accept that Max was going to do things on his own timeline, even "enjoyable" stuff like being in a pool (or stuff I considered enjoyable).

    Paula, I hear you; I know that overcoming fears and taking on new challenges is a normal part of childhood. What I'm saying is, I think Max is so brave because the CP gives him challenges in the water that other kids don't have. An NT child might be afraid of the water, but if he happens to fall down he has the physical capability of lifting himself up. Max does not yet have that strength, which is why I was so in awe of his conquering his fears.


Thanks for sharing!

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