Go Sally! Have I ever mentioned how much I just love Sally Nantais. She is the bomb. She has been the bomb in my life since I first starting researching fragile X online. I know secretly she was my mom in a past life!!
Well, here is Sally’s article from last year in December. It’s a good one (any article that starts with a song HAS to be good!). She will post one for December 2007 in the next few days. Since I didn’t start blogging her articles until recently, I totally feel obligated to post all articles past and present.
BTW…don’t get confused!! Sally has a fragile X son named Austin. My Austin is non FX Happy reading.
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We all have our own version of “normal”
by Sally Nantais, published December 3, 2006, The News-Herald
Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!
In the merriment of the season, I’m frequently reminded of two words I love to hate “age appropriate”.
Those two words have followed me my whole life. When I was younger, my parents dictated what attire was “age appropriate”. I was a typical young girl trying to dress in “older”. Now that I’m older my family still harasses me about dressing age appropriately but now it’s because I like to dress in “younger” clothes.
My father spent a large part of this past summer reminding others of advice given on the Red Green Show, a Canadian TV program, namely, that if you’re a man, over 40, you need to keep your shirt on.
As with most rules, I believe there should be exceptions, if you are over 40, and sporting six-pack abs, by all means, take your shirt off. If your torso looks more like a keg, maybe Red Green’s advice should apply.
However, I ask you, what is age appropriate?
My son, Austin, is 14 in chronological years, yet because ofand autism, he is developmentally much younger.
For the first five years of his life, he wouldn’t even go in a room where Santa was. We eventually progressed to going into the area but not approaching Santa.
After years of watching his sisters – and even his mother – sit on Santa’s lap, he finally reached the point where he would sit on Santa’s lap.
By this point, most boys his age were too old to still believe in Santa let alone sit on his lap.
Sitting on Santa’s lap may not seem age appropriate for a 14-year-old – or a 49-year-old – but for Austin, and his mother, it is.
Over the last five years, Austin ’s There is safety in routines and there is always a new Buzz or Woody doll on his list. Buzz and Woody often mimic the “ ” movies. Before a year is out they will each be missing an arm, just like in the movies.list seldom varies.
Austin always wants a Blues Clues notebook, which are now impossible to find. I regret that I didn’t hoard them a few years ago when they were sold everywhere.
He likes anything Barney even though most 14-year-olds could care less about a silly purple dinosaur. Others have tried to advise his mother that watching Barney movies isn’t age appropriate for him.
I question how something that teaches a child about manners, courtesy, social interactions and accepting others for who they are isn’t appropriate – at any age.
As far as I’m concerned, age appropriate is only another way to define “normal”; and if there is one thing Austin has taught me, it’s that we all have our own “normal”.
Our normal may be very different from your normal, but it doesn’t make either wrong, just different.
During this holiday season, live a little, love and laugh a lot. Celebrate in your normal way and remember what may be age appropriate for you might not be for others.
What a dull world it would be if we all shared the same “normal”.