Last weekend, we assumed the role of tourists since my mom (Grandma Chris) was in town. We had not yet been to the Fort Worth Stockyards, so we ventured out there and met Granny (Randy’s mom) there too. We had a great time. Ryan was very happy to be there.
We watched the cattle drive, met some cowboys (and got to spend time with their horses which Ryan absolutely loved), he rode on a steer, ate lunch, shopped, and went through a maze (that was featured on the show The Amazing Race!)
Ryan had this to say about the experience:
MY FAVORITE PART OF TODAY WAS LETTING ME SIT ON THE STEER.
“Ryan, can you describe what that was like for other people who have not had that experience?”
REALLY INTERESTING FEELING WHEN YOU SIT ON IT. LEANING ON MY CAPABLE BOIST(E)ROUS AMOUNTS OF THINGS TO LOOK AT. HITTING ALL OF MY SENSES. LEARY OF MYSELF LEANING ON MY HEADPHONES BECAUSE I MIGHT MISS SOMETHING COOL.
PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR HAVING VERY DIFFICULT BEHAVIOR IN THE STORE. UNDERSTAND THAT I AM TRYING SO HARD NOT TO TOUCH STUFF. (Ryan was having a hard time as he was grabbing for necklaces and belts in the store and Randy eventually took him outside because of all of the temptations).
KNOW THAT I LOVED IT ALL. I then spoke to him a little bit about the cattle drive and compared it to the lesson that we recently did on cowboys and how they did these drives all the way to Kansas many years ago. ALWAYS GRATEFUL THAT I AM ALIVE DURING THIS TIME PERIOD.
So this week we made a big change. We began a new adventure of homeschooling for Ryan. This was a carefully thought out decision that we did not make lightly. Ryan and I are very excited and enthusiastic about it. We had a our first day of “Curry Curriculum” on Wednesday of this week and so far the week has gone well.
There were many reasons why we chose to go this route, but I wanted to share with you a conversation that Ryan and I had had late last week that factored into it:
“Ryan, I don’t think that I am going to be able to make it to your Flag Day ceremony tomorrow morning (this was last Thursday). It begins at 8:05 and I have to drop Grace off at school and I won’t make it to your school in time with the distance and the traffic and construction that is going on nearby. Is this a problem or will you be okay?”
NO NEED TO COME BECAUSE IT IS STUPID BECAUSE I DONT REALLY GET TO PARTICIPATE WITH THIRD GRADE.
I got some clarification via email that the ceremony consisted of the different grades singing patriotic songs and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas Pledge. As Ryan is not able to speak, he did not feel as though he would be included. On that Friday, I asked him how it went.
STREAMING TEARS WALKING INTO SCHOOL AFTER THE EVENT CAUSE NO ONE LET CAPABLE KIDS PARTICIPATE. HALLMARK TRICK IS MEMORIZING AND I KNEW THE WORDS. (He now refers to his ability to memorize as his “hallmark trick.”)
I don’t believe that he was actually physically crying (although I am not sure) as I just assume that he felt this way on the inside. I told him that I could hold the letter board and that he could do a mini ceremony in front of his grandmas, his dad, Grace, and me and he replied MY GRANDMAS KNOW THAT I AM SMART.
And then he spelled this:
REALLY SICK OF BEING VIEWED AS RETARDED.
Ryan is very conscious of the way that he is perceived by others. We don’t know where he heard the word retarded as we don’t use that word in our home. I share this as this is heartbreaking to me. So many professionals think that autistics are trapped in their own worlds, without any regard for the what is going on around them and that they are not capable of feeling this way. That is absolutely false.
On a much more positive note, we made it to the Rangers game last night!
When Ryan spoke to his friend Fox yesterday (via Skype) he said the following about going to the game:
EACH DAY DEMONSTRATES HOW COOL MY LIFE HAS BECOME.
Ryan wrote this about his experience last night:
FINALLY I GOT TO SEE A GAME IN PERSON. CALLING IT MY DREAM DAY. LOVED EVERY SECOND. BASEBALL OWNS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. YES TO MAKING IT MY HOBBY. HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING. I AM NOW A RANGERS FAN TOO. YES TO MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE BECAUSE OF YOUR LESSONS (referring to the books and RPM lessons we did on baseball).
I told Ryan how much I love baseball and that it is absolutely my favorite sport to watch.
I LOVE IT TOO.
“Were you disappointed that we left early?” It was a school night for Grace and we got to the stadium early so by the time we had left, we had spent 3 hours there.
A LITTLE. UNDERSTAND THAT I CANNOT SIT FOR LONG PERIODS.
“Anything else that you want to say about this?”
HAD A GREAT TIME. MY LEARINESS (leeriness) OF LOUD NOISES DID NOT GET THE BEST OF ME.
2 thoughts on “The Stockyards, Change, and the Game”
Thank you Ryan for teaching me a new way of learning and expressing oneself. You have changed the way I view all people, not just those diagnosed with autism. Your spirit is amazing and resonates in these posts. Please keep changing the world….one person at a time.
There are no words to express what a joy Ryan you brought to me today. You are an amazing smart boy and I’m glad I have the pleasure of meeting you today and I can’t wait to see you again I hope you really enjoyed your haircut I enjoyed meeting you and your mom and it sounds like I’ll get to meet your sister really soon have a great day Ryan. Susan ( feel free to call me Susie-Queen haha)