Skip to main content


"You need to discipline better!"
"She is too smart to act like that." 
"Her bad behavior and angry attitude is a choice."
"A good spanking will cure that."
"If he can't sit still, he doesn't need to be here."
"What's wrong with him?"

These are just a few of the many phrases that I have heard through the years.  I've heard them in school, from teachers, at church, from friends, extended family, and from total strangers. And yes, they cut to my core. I hurt for my children and fear what words they may face in the future.  If people can say these things to my face, what are they saying behind my back?

I have two beautiful children both with their own special needs or disabilities. However, in my house, we call them their super powers.  Oh yeah, that's right. We celebrate their differences.  We focus on what can be done, what can be improved upon, and we persevere. 

But this article is about perceptions.  The perception of others, a mama's perception, and a child's perception, particularly concerning my daughter, my youngest.  She is about to turn 13, full of life and laughter, and is currently being treated for high anxiety, Tourettes, and Aspergers.  She is highly intelligent, craves learning, and reads like her life depends on it.  If you were to meet her, you would probably instantly see how bright she is.  You would be surprised at her age, as well, after that first meeting. She looks older than she is and, as my mother would say, "She has an old soul."  

What you can't see is how she gets a thought stuck in her head and worries about it over and over. She worries about our tiny budget, worries over the rise in crime, worries that she can't meet expectations in school, worries about college, worries about nuclear war; the list goes on and on. You might see a slight tick in her body movement or hear a slight vocal tic from her. But you won't see or hear the tics she tries so hard to control. Anxiously keeping them inside, she worries if she is being annoying or if people think she's just weird.  Holding her tics inside is taxing physically and mentally on her, and fuels her anxiety even more. The tics eventually will come out, usually when she comes in from school and can relax knowing our home is a judge free zone.

Lauren's Perception

Lauren's perception of any given situation is askewed to what a "normal" person's perception may be.  Sometimes her mind plays tricks on her and attributes factors or emotions that may not actually be present or needed at the time.  With her anxiety, her mind is automatically suspicious, fearful, worrisome, and anxiously waiting for the downside in a conversation or situation.  With the Tourettes, her mind seeks out anger, conflict, accusations, and turmoil to prepare itself for the always present battle at hand. The Aspergers brings in the first or strongest emotion it primarily encountered with the other person involved in the conversation and will not let go of that emotion lightly or easily. In other words, if Lauren's first few encounters with you were unpleasant or argumentative, then in her mind every encounter from then on will be unpleasant or argumentative.  This isn't just her opinion of a person, it is what her mind is telling her.  And, because of the aforementioned conflicts, it is very hard to distinguish between what she is perceiving to be true and what is actually true in any given conversation.  It is easy to see how difficult this may be on relationships and every day life for Lauren.

Other's Perceptions

Strangers, school personnel, new friends, or anyone who doesn't know what she struggles with may see Lauren as a difficult, argumentative, and problem child. This is what hurts. This is what needs to change.  I was very surprised at the lack of knowledge of this, particularly at Lauren's public school this year.  Even after my countless attempts to explain, accommodate, and mediate, the school personnel still see it only as a behavior problem that can be corrected with strict discipline.  And because of this lack of knowledge on their part, I pulled her out to homeschool with only a few weeks left of this year.

Mama's Perception

As I said before, this article is about perceptions, that is the perception of others, a mama's perception, and a child's perception.  The last one I want to talk about is my perception, the mama's.  My children are not perfect, as I am not perfect. I get frustrated. I get depressed and exhausted and feel lost at times. I can see their flaws.  But I can also see their beauty. With Lauren, this is what see. A beautiful child growing up way too fast. I see her passion for learning all she can about herself and the world. I see her love for others and her loyalty to them. I see her nurturing and kind disposition with animals.  I see her amazing talents on the written page, a canvas, or in her song. Oh yes, I can see her.

So, perception can change depending on who you are, the situation you are in, and what you allow yourself to see.  Maybe if we all can open our minds and eyes just a  little wider the next time we see someone struggling with a child "throwing a tantrum".  Or, if we see a woman holding up the line at the grocery store counting her change out to buy that milk with messy hair and wrinkled clothes. Perhaps, give a sweet smile instead of an eye roll, or just say "Good morning," and, "Have a nice day." And maybe, just maybe, we can change the world a little at a time.

Want to know more about my life? Read my Welcome post to learn about my chaos and why it is blessed!

Most Popular Posts

The Ultimate One-Stop Shop, 49 Antique & Flea Market

You can find flea markets scattered all over the South. Some are warehouse size, some small, some cater to antiques only, some to homemade goods and resale items. But the one I revisited recently caters to everyone and has everything! All under one roof!

Right here just south of Hattiesburg, MS, stands the 49 Antique & Flea Market. Now this is your ultimate one-stop shop where you can find something for everyone (including yourself!) on your list!

The market has been a fixture here for years, and hosts a multitude of various vendors, over 200!

It is located at 19 Dewitt Carter Rd, directly across from Paul B. Johnson State Park on HWY 49. Nearby is Camp Shelby and a little further south would be our beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast. 
Open hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am - 5pm. Plan on spending a couple of hours, so you can see and visit with all the wonderful vendors on site! And don't worry if you get hungry or need some coffee, there is a cafe inside (I'…

Fighting Cancer

In today's world, most everyone knows of a person suffering from cancer. It may be a loved one, a close friend, or just someone you know at church or from your kids school. The closer they are to you, the harder that initial punch is to the gut.  For me, the hardest punch came from my sister. She said "I have stage four breast cancer." I thought my heart was going to break. Then I said, "Well, let's start fighting".
And fight she did. She underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. For a year and a half, it was a constant battle for her. Just to muster enough energy for the therapy appointments, living on popsicles because that was all she could keep down, trying to keep up her spirits and keep smiling...when all she wanted was for life to feel normal again.  Her life was forever changed. She had to find her new "normal".
But she made it. She had beat it. She had won and life was getting better. Then, it returned. This time in he…

Insanely Easy (and cheap) HALLOWEEN Costumes

Halloween costumes can be quite expensive! Wow, have you been shopping for one yet?!
As a mom with a very tight budget, I am always on the lookout for an easier and cheaper option!
Halloween is a blast for the kids and they can celebrate it in style without breaking your wallet!
Here are a few ideas to save some change for all those glorious bake sales that are springing up this time of year!

PirateWhite T-shirt Red or black vest Red sash Red bandana Play foam sword Solo cup Play hook

This was so much fun to create!
I painted stripes onto a plain white T-shirt (actually, I stole that white T-shirt from his Daddy's drawer! Shhhh, don't tell!)
Next, I found some black girls capri pants and a man's reversible muscle T on a summer clearance rack.
As you can see, I cut up the pants and the bottom of the white shirt to look ragged.
I cut a vest out of the reversible men's shirt! All that was left was a red bandana around his head (which he refused to wear!), a sash made easily usi…