Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The dreaded "R-word" came up in our life.....

First off, let me apologize for being so incredibly absent on my blog. 2014 is proving to be a very interesting and fulfilling year! It's amazing everything that has gone on and there's so much to tell you all. But that all needs to wait.... I need to "get this off my chest" so to speak....

So this story starts back in December, when Ashton and I went to see the new Disney movie, "Frozen". He absolutely fell in love with it (as did I) and requested to "watch it again" as soon as the credits started to roll. Well, Marc and his girlfriend, Kaylie, were home on holiday break from Georgia Tech, so they took Ashton to see it again on New Year's Day. We bought the soundtrack and listened to the music quite a bit, so Ashton quickly picked up on the lyrics to all the songs from the movie.

Of course, one of the songs from the movie is absolutely lovely, a favorite of all of ours.... "Let It Go". You've probably heard/seen many covers done of it as have we. Well, I came across my absolute favorite cover done by a young man by the name of Brian Hull. Ashton immediately fell in love with it. He recognized the music from the movie and he adores the Disney character voices that Brian is able to do. 21 of them in all, which is astounding. Ashton watched this video probably 10 or so times the first time I found it and requested it almost every single time I sat down at the computer. So it played endlessly for a few days.

Pretty catchy, huh? This guy has AMAZING talent! Now you can see why we all love it so much.

Well, one night while waiting for bedtime to roll around, Ashton requested to watch the video again. Imagine my surprise when Ashton starts to SING along with the video! He NEVER sings, in fact, whenever we would ask him to sing he would say "I don't want to sing. Singing is boring!". HAHA! I asked Ashton if I could record him singing along to the video and he said yes! So I got my iPhone ready and sat him down and this is what I recorded:

Pretty amazing from a kid who thinks singing is boring! hehe

I uploaded it to YouTube and posted it to Facebook and got lots of awesome comments. I decided to send Brian a message via YouTube with a link to the video I had made and explained to him a little bit about why I was sharing it. You all know the schpeel - formally non-verbal, severely autistic 2-year-old who we were told might never speak. Brian responded back, and little did I know at the time, he had shared it on his Twitter account. Ashton's video now has over 3000 views on it.

HOW could I forget - I wanted to post the video message that Brian Hull sent to Ashton a couple of weeks after he saw Ashton's video. He thought it was so cool! I, unfortunately, cannot get the video to come up as a viewable video here, but here's the link to it. :)

So to lead up to what the point is..... I've never, in my life, ever had anyone use the words retarded, retard, tard - to describe Ashton. If it's happened behind my back, I'm unaware of it, but I've never had those words used in relation to Ashton on Facebook, YouTube, the many online communities I've been a part of, nothing. NEVER in the 13+ years we've been dealing with Autism and it's place in our life. I should have KNOWN it was coming. Nobody ever escapes that nasty word's wrath.

Well, it happened - a comment on Ashton's video. I was absolutely heart-sick and devastated. I posted to Facebook and sent a message to Brian (who I hope doesn't think I'm some crazy mom! lol) and he actually replied back to me as well as commented on the twerp's post on the YouTube video. We've gotten many positive responses back from it and in the grand scheme of things, it's just one twerp that was placed in our life to cause a stir in our relatively easy-going life. These moments happen, but this first time just absolutely took my breath away and I was absolutely enraged. I wanted to lambast the idiot and tear them limb to limb. But, I stayed calm and replied back (with what I hope comes across as stern kindness) and a few others have replied as well.

It just goes to show you that you're never immune from this kind of stuff. Thankfully, Ashton's got amazing friends and family who rallied around us with this twerp's unkind response to his video.

Just know, that if I EVER hear that word being used to describe my son again, or any other person, I will absolutely call you out on it. It's not a word that should be used. It's an "old"term used to describe mentally challenged people that now comes across as derogatory and rude and cruel. If you don't like something, say that. There's no need to be rude and callous. Or better yet, stick to the old saying "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all". Really, sometimes things are better left unsaid.

Thanks for reading this rambling post and thanks to EVERYONE for their support!

MommaBear Jenn :) (don't mess with my babies!!)