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Painful Observations: Lemon

By November 10, 2014 May 15th, 2020 No Comments
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Sometimes it’s hard to watch your kids grow up. I personally struggle seeing Chloe trying to build friendships. It has always been a challenge for her. I can remember even at age three her pre-school teacher telling me she didn’t easily make friends and would go stand by the bunny every day during recess.

Now, at age 13, Chloe continues to struggle making and keeping friends. Understanding body language and boundaries for kids and people like Chloe is a challenge at best. What comes easily and naturally for sister Sophia is a daily labyrinth for Chloe, navigating what to do or say in a multitude of situations. When framed in this context, it’s easy to see why kids and people with Aspergers get frustrated and depressed.

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I take some of Chloe’s classmates from Armadillo every Friday to an animal rehabilitation farm where the kids earn work credit. I witness first hand the growing pains she and some of the other kids experience because of their “different” behavior. Even among those kids who ignore Chloe or shun her, it is a stark reminder that kids do the best they can with what they have. Kids’ and adults’ reactions are born from preconceived notions and a lack of understanding about how to interact with those unlike us.

One of my daily reminders and affirmations: Be patient, caring and supportive. Life can be painful: Lemon!

Andrea Berryman Childreth

Author Andrea Berryman Childreth

Andrea Berryman Childreth is an award-winning author of the book, ON THE EDGE: Help and hope for parenting children with mental illness, founder of The Lemonade Project, advocate and parent coach. She has first-hand experience with parenting a mentally ill daughter and has struggled with mental illness, herself. Her goal is to help empower people to openly share their stories and improve access to equitable mental health services.

More posts by Andrea Berryman Childreth

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