Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cashing In

Probably not the nicest way to look at it, but there really are some advantages to having a son with a disability.

My crazies got to go attend a weekly PE class while we were in Texas. The kinesiology department at the local university had a class entitled "Movement for Special Populations." And any kid with any kind of disability and their siblings got to attend for free. It was AWESOME.

Similarly, another nearby university held weekly swimming lessons for the same population and all three crazies attended swimming lessons...again for FREE.

And we went to an awesome carnival earlier in the spring where the admission, bounce houses, horse rides, face painting, lunch, games, crafts, etc, were all...you guessed it...FREE. We even came out of that one with free t-shirts. It was seriously an awesome Saturday afternoon activity for the whole family and we didn't spend a dime.

I've even heard that amusement parks cut you some pretty sweet deals if someone in your group has a disability. Things like a free pass to cut to the front of the line and your "escort" (or parent) gets in free. We've never done the amusement park thing with our kids and I debate back and forth on whether or not I'd cash in on this one. On one hand, I'd LOVE to cut to the front of the line. I can't imagine a 40 minute line with three kids in tow. But on the other hand, does Reid really need that any more than the average kid? I doubt it. It's hard to teach him he's normal when we're setting a double standard.

So between swimming lessons, PE, carnivals, etc. we've spent much more time around kids with disabilities (and their parents) lately. I have to say, I could not be more grateful for the one I got. It just reiterates to me what a regular 3 year old boy I have. I don't know what kind of parent I would be to a child with a mental disability. To say it sounds difficult would be a serious understatement. And most other physical disabilities are much more severe than Reid's. Parents talk about kids being in and out of the hospital and always in for doctor appointments with so many different specialists. Reid's surgery was a one time thing and he gets a new leg every year or two. Man, I got off easy.

Another thing to miss about Texas...Scottish Rite Hospital. This hospital is run by the Masons. They treat any and all kids with limb deficiencies. For FREE (notice the theme). I can walk in and out without any proof of insurance or proof of income or signing any papers or anything. They are so kid friendly with pirate ships and train tracks and aquariums and cars all over the hospital. And parent friendly, too. All Reid's specialists are in one place. I can show up to an appointment and the orthopedist, the prosthetist, and any other doctor, nurse or technician involved (there's usually like 5) meet with us in one room all at the same time so they all work together. Talk about convenient. And it's awesome for Reid to be there with kids clear up to age 18 with prosthetics. I'm not sure he'd ever seen another kid in a similar situation until we started going to Scottish Rite. It's good for his psyche. Plus they have a SWEET playground...totally wheelchair accessible...not that we need that, but it's cool. I've never seen a more fun, more clean, more supervised, more beautiful playground. We will most definitely miss this place.

Reid got a new leg right before we left. As we were trying to match skin color the option came up for a custom design. Reid was all over that. And quickly picked a Batman leg. I'm not the kind of mom who lets my kids wear character clothing very often (though a few stores have vintage super-hero T's these days and I'm all over that). So a Batman leg was a little difficult to swallow because he wears it EVERY DAY. It has definitely generated much more attention. We get more questions for sure. But I have to admit it's kind of grown on me. It suits Reid. And if he's the one who has to deal with a prosthetic leg, he should get to choose what it looks like. It's much more exciting to him and the other kids think it's pretty sweet, too.

The picture's for you Emily, but I thought I'd share it with everybody. Unfortunately, I think it shows scratches a little more. And let me tell you, my crazy three year old knows how to put scratches in a prosthetic real quick.

15 comments:

Traci Elizabeth said...

At least he didn't want winnie the pooh right?

I can't believe that hospital! That seems like a dream come true.

Reid is seriously one cute boy. He seems like he would be a lot of fun to be around.

jeanine said...

That hospital sounds awesome! And all those other free things sound incredible too! I love that Reid got a batman leg. William is looking at the pictures and said he wants a batman leg too ;)

Jen said...

I'm sure Reid thinks that is so awesome!

Heidi said...

he is so big! He looks like such a fun kid! Love the batman leg!

Autumn said...

Your timing of posting these was PERFECT for my needs!! (See my post.)

What amazing benefits!! And a rad hospital!! Seriously amazing!! Awesome. I've been to one wheelchair friendly playground and it was sooo cool. I wonder if Cbus has one? It seems like a big enough city that it should.

So I'm thinking that even though its getting more questions, maybe its good on one hand to get it out of his system while he's younger. I had a friend who told her daughter from day 1 that she was adopted, and then there was no breaking in point. It was always the norm for her. That could be a major bonus to BATMAN!

Kris said...

Hooray for Reid!!

Lauri said...

He's going to be the envy of every three year old in town. Everyone will want a prosthetic.

Jessica said...

Wow I had no idea all that is available to families with children with disabilities. Good for you for doing your research and finding out what is out available. I really like the new leg. Especially with the black chucks he looks great. He is looking more and more like Parker.

Genn said...

That is amazing all that is available to people with disabilities and their families. Reid is such a cutie pie. I am digging the new leg. So cool, he probably is the envy of every three year old.

Kelly said...

So good to have you back, and so great to see Reid again!! I am dying to see that new cool Batman leg! Super fun!! I love that! Love all the fun free stuff- too!!

Amanda B. said...

Wow!!! What amazing opportunities!

Maybe I should have one of my kids legs amputated.....

soooooooo just joking. I am sure the trials are much tougher than the perks are good. You are an amazing mom and he is an amazing boy- I love to watch him and see pictures. :) Love the batman leg. You are right- it suits him. Good for you for letting him choose what he wanted. :)

The drama known as Greens.... said...

Love it! Thanks for the pics! Maybe we should all wear shorts and put batman stickers up and down one leg as a tribute! Just sayin....I would totally sport it with pride :)

Kelly said...

I'm with Traci, at least it's something cool like Batman! And I think it looks cute! What a great weekend of freebies!

Kip said...

I really like this post! LOVE the Batman leg and glad you let him get it, I agree with your mindset! Also SWEET that you get to go to special fun things with all your kids and "cash in" on the hardship. You have a cute little 3 year old!

Natalie said...

so awesome and I love the airwalks. That kid is cool!