Tuesday, November 4, 2008
How It's Done.
Instead of snarking about how stupid people piss me off, I thought I'd throw some positive vibes out into the Universe.
A couple examples of how I've been pleasantly surprised by people who've met Owen.
Last fall, I was at a playground with Owen, we were the only ones there and he was bored. Even though he never really plays with other kids, he likes to have them around.
A Mommy and Daddy and two little boys showed up. I braced myself for the kids' questions and the parents' awkward responses, but this Mommy and Daddy were different.
As soon as they saw Owen's hearing aids, the Daddy said to his sons;
"Look! He's wearing hearing aids. I wonder if he signs (at which I nodded yes). You guys learned some sign at school right?".
The kids ran right over and checked Owen out. They showed off their signs, 'play' and 'friend'.
They did ask some questions, like;
"Can he hear when he takes them out?"
"If you are very loud and he's looking at you he can hear a little, but he doesn't hear a whole lot without them".
"So if he does something bad and he's getting in trouble, he can take them out and he doesn't have to listen to you?"
The Mommy joined in; "Isn't that cool? He's got a Mommy filter!!"
Both boys; "That would be AWESOME!!"
What was awesome, was the parents pointing out Owen to their children. Pointing out his difference, and putting a positive spin on it.
This weekend we took the kids to an indoor play center. It's a very loud place and Owen has a hard time hearing speech through all the background noise.
I was crawling around the Mega Climber with him and this kid whizzed by us saying to me;
"Did he drag you in here?"
"Yeah, pretty much."
The kid came back around to us. He looked curiously at Owen, tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to the slide. I was struck by the fact that he'd tapped and pointed. Owen nodded at him and followed.
The kid was playing with us in the Pirate Ship. He asked if Owen's hearing aids were ear plugs.
"They're hearing aids."
"Oh. They make him hear?"
"Yup, and he can sign too."
Owen showed him some signs. They told each other their names. He followed us around for a while, he tried to get Owen to go on the big slide with him. He was sweet and patient and seemed to be genuinely interested in Owen, without being prompted by an adult.
Al heard him telling his mother about his new friend, Owen, and how cool he was.
I didn't get a chance to talk to his mother, but if I had, I would have told her how cool her kid is too.