Monday, June 20, 2011

My grandsons, Cole and Cale, spent the night with us Sunday. They stayed with Marcia today while Brandi, their mother, took Erin, their sister, to the doctor.
I use this blog to talk mostly about Cole and his progress with Fragile X.
Little brother Cale has a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified(PDD-NOS). This seems to mean he does not have Fragile X but has something we just don't quite no what yet.

Both boys are happy little guys for the most part. They run, play, ride trikes, love their swings. Cole loves Thomas the Tank engine and operating the DVD player.
Cale watches the DVDs intermittently, likes to dance to music and will throw little "fits" occasionally in an attempt to get attention and his way. He usually puts on a cry but is smiling all the time.

They spent time in the blow up pool while here today. Cale likes to get in the water but is a little timid about actually playing in the pool. He did do a little more splashing than in past visits.

Cole on the other hand is a fish. He bounces off the sides of the pool into the water and breast strokes under water to the other end. It is amazing. He holds his breath instinctively. When he pops his head up he blows out his breath and takes a deep one in before submerging again. He does something on every visit that amazes us in spite of his Fragile X.

Today's visit reminded me that they only come to visit every week or so and leave Marcia and I wore out, but they are cared for daily by their mother, Brandi. I am reminded that every day she deals with their needs. The normal everyday needs of 3, 5 and 7 year old kids plus the special needs and attention that must be given to children that are physically mature for their age but whose ability to process everyday situations are limited by the ability to communicate. It is a difficult thing to express, the exceptional needs of these kids that go beyond the needs of most children.

Most of all it is the patience needed to deal with the behaviors that may not be considered acceptable by some but uncontrollable by the child and the parent. Patience that must be practiced day in and day out not just on the weekend.

Brandi does this and it is evident. These kids with all their problems, behavioral abnormalities and communication skills love their Mommy very much. They run to her when she returns to pick them up. They hug, kiss and squeeze her with such affection it makes you smile and cry all in one moment.

Without doubt, I know that Brandi must sometimes feel unbearable weight from the challenges of raising her kids. But she wears it well and I am so thankful that she is the mother of these children. She gives up so much to be there for them and to give them the nurturing they need.

I have the greatest respect for all Mamas, but mothers raising children with special needs, be they physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities, are special people and Brandi is my special person.

Thanks to you Brandi, you will always have our support and admiration.


  1. Thank YOU, Jim, for this beautifully written post.

  2. Jim, you have a wonderful way with words and have on numerous occasions brought tears to my eyes with those very same words. Today is certainly no exception, and I find myself filled with emotion as I read your post. A huge AMEN to everything you said! I am so thankful that you and Marcia have the love and respect that you do for my daughter. She is indeed a special person to us all! Love you both!