“C’mon, Declan! Go get your coat! It’s time to go meet Poppy for PIZZA!”
“YESSS! I’m so excited. I am going to scare him with my mask and then I will play with him!” Declan yells as he grabs his coat and his Spiderman mask and runs to the door.
Poppy is Declan’s grandfather, and my dad. He makes us both super happy!
On this Veteran’s Day, I think of my dad and thank him for his service in the US Armed Forces.
I also think he is one great grandfather.
And I thank him for being one heck of a special needs grandfather. As a special needs grandfather,
Learned about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
And not just from me! He did his research. Not only that, he sends me interesting pertinent information about autism. Articles, videos, references – he gets informed. And then he helps spread the good word!
Never told me what I should do
There was a time none of us understood what was happening. We began new therapies and instruction. Poppy looked to me for direction and asked the simple, best question: “What can I do to help?”
Enters Declan’s world
Play is not directed, play is followed. Poppy is the best at that. Poppy will show up and just follow Declan’s lead. If Declan wants to play a video game, Poppy will play. We may all be wondering where Poppy’s character is, but Declan doesn’t care. He has a friend playing with him!
Has special time for Declan!
We meet Poppy for pizza every Friday. A time that Poppy has set aside just for Declan. The special time is part of Declan’s routine. He knows when Friday comes, it’s time to see Poppy!
Asks “What’s next?”
One of Poppy’s favorite questions. “What’s next?” Cause Poppy is in! From playing outside or going to Declan’s first movie. Poppy is ready for the experience!
Accept, Support and Love
All of us! Poppy gives the same time and attention to the other kids with their special events and activities. The kids love his humor and know that if they are spending time with Poppy, they are going to have a good time. He is the guy I go to talk about what is happening. He is my sounding board. I am learning as I go and Poppy is listening the whole way.
I don’t know what the future holds for Declan. I do not know what the future holds for any of us. But I do know that there is one great dad, grandfather and special needs grandfather out there ready to walk through it all with us.
And that is a true blessing!
Thanks Dad! Love you!