Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Extraordinary Kid

I've debated this post a bunch of times. I end up choosing not to do it because it's kind of personal. If you know me I'm kinda a personal person. Things that are close to my heart aren't shared often but I guess that's going to change today. I'm not sure why I feel like I need to share some of my acquired knowledge on this topic but I do... Today I am going to write about one of my greatest crafty creations... my son Jayden.

"If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation-- not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day in this life or the next." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

You see I'm an ordinary mom of an extraordinary kid.

ex·traor·di·nar·y /ikˈstrôrdnˌerē/ Adjective

1. Very unusual or remarkable.

2. Unusually great.

(Interesting how some of these words are positive and others are negative.  I'm going to take all the postive ones!)
We (family) often joke about renting Jayden out to people that are sad. He has a way of making you feel loved especially when you are sad. Jayden has his own set of trails.  I have a habit of jumping ahead. Jayden was born a healthy 9 pound baby. He was a serious eater and sleeper. Both traits are still true of him. He was a easy going baby so it wasn't surprising to me that he was a late crawler/ walker. At about 18 months he regressed in his speech and stopped making eye contact with most people. I was told the speech thing was normal and I don't believe I even made a big deal about the eye contact because the kid was so darn good at physical affection. It's around the age of 2 1/2 I started thinking maybe something was going on.

Jayden is now 6 and doesn't have an official diagnosis (in about 6 months we may) as of yet but I have my own thoughts of what is going on.  Jayden is still my most loving child.  It's hard for him to keep eye contact, he has some sensory issues, some obessive-compusive issues, and anxiety.  I love my extraordinary kid and don't want to change him in anyway.  It's me I want to change.  Change to be a better mom.  A mom my kid deserves.  One of the hardest things about this journey is feeling alone and judged.  It's a whole process of feelings....denial, love, fear, sadness, anger, empowerment and happiness.  The most helpful thing that I have found is to talk to other moms of extraordinary kids. 

This post and future posts are about awareness and support.  I feel I need to give back what I have received.  Once a week guest bloggers and/or myself (all moms or people who work with extraordinary kids) will share experiences and resources.  I don't claim be an expert.  I do have experience with schools, church and insurance companies.  I have learned to become fierce when I need to be....when people try to convince me to make a decision about Jayden when my heart tells me it's wrong.  I've had friends say hurtful things.  Best of all I am loved by one extraordinary kid and I wouldn't have it any other way.

"It is often in the trail of adversity that we learn those most critical lessons that form our character and shape our destiny." -Dieter F. Uchdorf


  1. Thank you! Your extraordinary son sounds nearly identical to my extraordinary six year old son. I look forward to your insights...

  2. hi. i am a mom of four with a background in early childhood education and child psychology. i hae also taught "extraordinary" children comprising a multitude of challenges. It sounds to me like Jayden is dealing with high-functioning Asberger Syndrome. You might look into that. It is on the Autism spectrum but different. I enjoyed reading your poster and I admire your leaving your comfort zone and publishing it. As a side note, you should get on the computer and look of Erma Bombeck's essay about Special needs kids. all the best to you and yours.

  3. Hey, just wanted to say I really loved your post today. Thanks for sharing your sweetie with all of us.

  4. Thanks for sharing your post! I have 4 extraordinary girls! They have all been diagnose ADHD and it has been one heck or a struggle at times. Two of them have anxiety and other things that go along with it. Yes, you need to be your childs advocate because no one else will be. I too have had terrible things said about my children which at first made me sad and now just shows me their ignorance. Thanks so much for sharing as I know it is a difficult thing! Can't wait to see what you post in the future!

  5. aspergers was my guess as well. i have a cousin that was diagnosed with aspergers about the time he was in kindergarten (he is a senior this year). as a teenager i was his designated babysitter whenever his parents went out and oh how i love that boy. sometimes it takes those extraordinary kids to teach us things that we otherwise just wouldnt get.

    i did my senior thesis in high school on asperger syndrome and sweet little jake came in and helped me. i will never forget him standing up so bravely in front of my class and saying "i'm jake. i'm twelve."

    this boy could tell you anything about a computer or a calendar, can hear a train waaay before anyone else, and can recite lines from disney movies that everyone else has long since forgotten.

    heavenly father knew you would be a wonderful mom to this wonderful little boy. thats why He sent him to you. im sure some days are hard but keep your head up, for you are doing a great work!

    thank you for your post.

  6. Thanks for the love and support :) This post is nerve racking but I need to do this. I too have a education in early chilhood education and my bachelor of science in psychology. I think Heavenly Father knew I would need it. He is always looking out for me!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this.. I just recently shared my feeling about my extraordinary kid to. It helps so much to have a place you can go to share your feelings judge-free!!Most of us are mothers and share some of the same feelings with you... I am sure your son is amazing because he has a mother who cares so much about him and realizes that no matter how different he is .. he is still awesome!! And so are you:)

  8. Love the "extraordinary" kid! I have never thought of it that way. I understand the hurt and pain that comes from having an extraordinary child, and I like you would not have it any other way. I have a pin that says, "don't judge the parents, love the child"! Most people don't understand, and some are not willing to even try and understand, and thats ok, I just continue to love my son. Thanks for sharing Melinda.

  9. Although most of your readers you may never meet or we may never get to meet you and your special family, I have to comment (which I usually don't), but I feel I should...awhile back, going through difficulties, I had a wonderful talk with my Stake President, whom just happened to be my visiting teachers husband. I cried on his shoulder with my issues I was going through and he said "We can't change anybody, but ourselves". In order to want to 'change' a situation, sit back and think "Does this really need changing? Or should I change my outlook, my thoughts, my actions towards this situation?" I know you may want to 'change' him back to the amazing child he was, but he's still that amazing child, just altered slightly, and you now have to figure out how to mould your mind and thoughts around him. I wish you the best! I know it's not the best advise, but it's all I can offer you! Good luck! He's a cutie...I wouldn't change a single thing!

  10. i don't even know you, and i think you are wonderful.
    while i don't have a child with the same trials your son is going through, i do have a son who is a challange to raise. thanks to you, i am changing my perspective from 'difficult child' to 'extraordinary kid'. maybe it's my attitude that is the problem.
    thanks for being willing to share something that is so close to your heart!

  11. My oldest has Asperger's Syndrome. He just completed his 1st full semester of college and is preparing for his mission with our church next year. We have been very blessed to be given new eyes through this child. I suspect you've already received your "new eyes". ((Hugs)) Dana

  12. Beautiful post! I taught extrodinary children for 3 years before choosing to stay home and have a family. I miss the hearts of those extrodinary children most! What a blessing and challenge you have before you. I wish you the very best. Thank you for being brave enough to share. I am sure your posts will be amazing and help many too.

  13. I love that you call your son 'extraordinary' I haven't used that word to describe my sons before. You see, I have 2 sons with Asperger's. One is now 27 and the other 19. The oldest served a mission at the bishop's storehouse and the other is filling out his papers. I know how hard it is to accept the child you now have instead of the child you thought you had. But hang in there. I choose to believe that they were so valiant that they came to earth protected from the temptations that the rest of us have to deal with. I won't lie, I shed many tears when we first found out, but now I can talk about it without always falling apart. From the looks of it, you have a great support system right here!! Keep us all posted and hang in there. You must be a very elect lady!

  14. Melinda, that was a very beautiful post. You continue to inspire me. Hugs to your extraordinary kid and his extraordinary mother!

  15. Beautiful post! I'm the Mom of an older (14 year old) extraordinary kid and often blog about the positives and negatives of raising him. I found your blog from Michelle's guest post. I'm bookmarking and will be back to read this series. :)

  16. Melinda,
    I am a new reader of you rblog and found it by chance? I think not. In God's plan there are no coincidences.
    I am a retired Special Ed. teacher and as of Oct. 8, 2007, a Grandmother to James, born premature and diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. I have read your posts with that feeling of "been there, done that" and yet, I feel like every day is new when dealing with the struggles my 3 yr. old grandson faces. He had spinal surgery in June at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Dr. Parks has pioneered a life changing surgery for children with CP. We hope our James will walk independently by age 5. Anyway, I plan to bookmark your blog and hope you will visit mine as well. I often blog about my grandson James and post progress reports as well as talk about my love of quilting/crafts.
    Gmama Jane

  17. Thank you for having the courage to post. Thank you for sharing feelings that I too face as I struggle to work with church leaders, teachers and family to help understand my 3 1/2 year old extraordinary child who struggles with the challenges similar to your beautiful child. I cried as I read your tender words. I will for sure be following this series. Thank you again!

    P.S. I stumbled upon your blog while search for YW ideas on Sugardoodle.


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