Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sharky Hits the Big Time

Thank you to Paul Nyhan (writer) and Dan DeLong (photographer) for their work in creating the recent article about Sharky and his posse in Monday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Paul and Dan are two great guys, who treated Sharky and the rest of us with utmost respect. We all enjoyed having them in our lives during this process.

Thank you also to all the people who have expressed support and good wishes, either through comments on this blog, comments on the PI forum, emails to me, or emails to Paul. It's been exciting to hear from you all.

I'm very happy with the article. But it is important to understand that no article can portray the complete picture of a family, and I hope readers understand that our lives are not just about the frustrations and anxiety that come from Sharky's autism. I personally feel extraordinarily fortunate to have what I have in life, and there is no doubt that my life is imbued with an inordinate amount of joy and happiness, and much of this is directly the result of Sharky.

About a year ago, Sharky and I were walking from my car to my apartment, which was in Lower Queen Anne at the time. We had been listening to a favorite song of Sharky's in the car, "Machengoidi" by Ali Farka Toure. As we were standing on the corner of 1st and Mercer, waiting for the light to change, Sharky was singing the song. I looked at the people around me - the business man with briefcase, the elderly woman returning home with her groceries, the young woman in torn jeans and t-shirt - all of them alone, looking strained by the weight of the world.

And suddenly a thought rushed over me, one of those thoughts that hits you with full force to the entire body. I thought, "What did I do to be so lucky, to get to be the one out of all of these people around me, to have this beautiful little person to hold my hand and sing me beautiful songs as I go through my life?"

And this is far from a fleeting thought that comes from time to time. It's how I typically feel about things.

So as long as I am able to keep this blog going, it will never be a platform for despair or bitterness. This is a blog about expressing gratitude. It is also about bringing to light the deficiencies in our school systems' and governments' services, and the ongoing difficulties they cause us (or at least it will be if I ever get through the gushing part). But this will be covered not out of bitterness or cynicism, but instead with the goal of changing these things for the better.

So again, thanks to all. I'm happy to have you all here and hope at least some of you will check back in from time to time.


Club 166 said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, Ted.

You've done a really nice job with your blog thus far. I look forward to seeing more good things from you.


Katrina Stonoff said...

This is truly lovely. Thanks for sharing it.

I have a 10-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome, and I regularly feel sorry for parents who don't have this perspective.

Jodi said...

Nice blog Ted!
Good luck with it.

Giovanna Scott said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful family's story. WE struggle the same and it's always a day/week of incredible highs (the singing and the sweetness) and depressing lows (tantrums/non-compliance).
Our son is 5 soon and we have HOPE. Thanks again - it's nice to know you're not alone.

Anonymous said...

If he likes music, one of the more inexpensive therapies out there is what's called "music therapy." It's been shown to be particularly effective with people who are on the spectrum. I'm getting my master's in it.

Danger Panda said...

I read the article. It was very well done. Welcome to the world of blogging. I'll be checking back to see what's up with you and Boy!

teh4 said...

Hi Ted,

Read your family's powerful feature in the PI yesterday and wanted to invite you to share your story and connect with parents of children with autism on trusera.com, an online network and Capitol Hill startup. We're an online network where people can share what's worked (or not) for them in managing their health. We have a very active and growing community around autism sharing tips/tricks and life experiences for raising children with autism or living with adult autism.

Wish you the best,

East Olive St.
Seattle WA 98122

CindyPDX said...

Thank you for sharing your story with Seattlepi.com

I can totally relate to what you are dealing with, believe me... You're Not Alone

All the best,
Cindy from the Pacific NW