Dance With Me!

Written by:  Bella’s Biggest Fan


When my daughter Bella was born prematurely 14 years ago so did the labels begin.

Doctors see diagnosis conditions and limitations. First was, if she survives, she may not be able to ever walk, or talk with limited intelligence.

In the beginning the labels bothered and aggrieved me. As Bella got older, as a special needs super mom, I worked hard finding therapies and diets to diminish the labels given to her, such as autistic, verbal, cerebral palsy, brain injury, developmentally delayed.

When I stopped trying to fix what everyone was saying was wrong with my baby, I truly saw Bella was special, not because of her clinical labels but because she showed me what joy and living your best life really was.

When Bella was five, she hated the leg braces she had to wear in order to walk “ right”. The orthopedics Dr told us that she can’t run in it, but at least she can walk. She looked at him and smiled and laughed, as is her way about everything, but this time she stood up and danced. Every mouth in the room dropped to the floor, speechless at what we were witnessing. Soon everyone joined in her joy and laughter and started dancing too.

After that day, I knew mom and daughter would be fine!! She would guide me and I would be her biggest fan and protector, as she lives against the odds and unaware of the world’s labels and limitations placed on her.

At 14 she’s still dancing and laughing.. giving anyone near her a reason to want to smile and laugh along with her.


Non-Verbal Communication

Hubby and I took Buddy to town with us last week and we decided to stop at Denny’s to get lunch.

I cannot tell you how much I love doing this.  Mostly because 7 years ago, doing something so basic as going to lunch with Buddy was something that would cause me major anxiety, and quite honestly, we just wouldn’t do it.

This is one of the goals that I have to credit his care giver for.  She has been phenomenal, I think it’s because she is a foodie and takes Buddy to all of her favorite restaurants. And now he is a foodie too!

Anyway,  we took Buddy to lunch at Denny’s and when we got there, we had a 5 minute wait.  I kept whispering to him, “You’re doing great” “We just have to wait a few minutes” “I am so proud of you”.

We get seated and I sit on the outside of the booth and he is on the inside.  As we order our food and wait, I have my arm around him and I keep telling him those same statements.   I also turned on Spotify, because as we all know, music can be magic to an autistic.

Our food comes and Buddy eats every bite and a few of mine too.  Then as we wait for the check, he puts his arms around me and pulls me so tight to him that my glasses almost fall off my face.  As he kisses my cheek, I hear it, not with my ears, but with my heart.

My non-verbal son, just said “Thank you Mom, I love when you take me to lunch, and I love you!”   as he held me and kissed me again, I felt him say “You’re doing great, I am so proud of you!”

As we drove home and I pondered this wonderful experience, it occurred to me he does this every time I take him to lunch.  I think we need to do it more often!




I Cried Today.

Buddy loves his music.  He has a DVD player and TV in his room, and he plays DVDs and CDs,  from the time he wakes up, until bedtime.

He can find the song he wants, and will play it all day.   He knows, what CD/DVD has the song he is looking for, and how many times he has to push the buttons to get to it.

This morning I was getting ready to pay bills, and Buddy comes out of his room and grabs my arm.   He pulls me back to his room as fast as he can, and I think the usual…he pushed the wrong button and turned the TV off.  And he is asking me to fix it for him.

We get to his room and he pushes some buttons…Tanya Tucker starts singing about a road map of Texas.

I start making jokes, and asking for kisses.  Then I asked for a hug. and he leans over and pushes a few more buttons…he stops and Ms Tucker starts introducing a song.    As she does, Buddy grabs my hands and pulls me to him.

He wraps my arms around him and pulls me into a bear hug, so I start to slow dance with him  as the music begins.

Buddy, understands everything,  so I can only believe that he was trying to tell me something in a way that only a non-verbal person can.

As he held me tight, with his head on my shoulder and mine on his… Tanya Tucker sang “You Are So Beautiful To Me”.

When I looked up and said “Is that what you want to tell me?”  He smiled the biggest smile, and I cried.

I can’t tell you how awesome it is to FEEL loved, when you can’t hear it!