Being happy doesnt mean that everything is perfect.

It means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My observations of others got me thinking...

Note: This blog post is about 2 complete strangers that I observed whilst out. It is purely based on my observations and what it got me thinking about. I am not being critical in any way of these 2 people, as I don't know there complete situation.

Last week whilst I was out, in a cafe in a shopping centre, I noticed an older lady sitting near me, with a boy of about 15-17yo. You could tell this boy had some sort of intellectual disability. What I noticed for the time that I was there, was that these 2 people sat there in silence.

I did think there was a possibility that the boy could have been non-verbal. However that didn't bother me. What did bother me was that the older lady sat there with her head in the paper whilst drinking her coffee, not really interacting with this young man. I walked away slightly upset by this, however I quickly seemed to forget about it.

Today I was out again, in a different cafe, and coincidentally, the same 2 people were there too. Again, I watched them, and made the same observations as last time.

They sat there in silence, Her head in the paper, him looking around at whats going on, and no interaction going on between them. I wondered what this young man felt. Was he upset by this? Was this the norm for them? He truly looked lost

As I said previously I am fully aware that he may have been non-verbal.... However non verbal people still crave interaction and acknowledgment, like all human beings. This really made me sad... Ellie as you know is non-verbal, but that has never stoped us interacting with her, talking to her, acknowledging her. I have said this time and time again, even though Ellie has no words, she still communicates in her own way... She loves to interact.

As I said I am not being critical of this lady, it purely got me thinking... Got me thinking about Ellie... and made me never want to end up like this, and not be communicating with her.


  1. Oh mel i love a good people watch too!

    I sort of hope it was his mum and not a carer that is employed to interact and enjoy.

  2. Tough one...did you ever think perhaps the lady was deaf...or the young bloke was deaf and there could be no communication? We all interact differnetly and I am sure you will see many things in life that make stop and think, that's just being guys couldn't do more for Miss.E and it is a real credit to you and Luke in what you have achieved and most especially the little milestones Miss.E keeps reaching!

  3. The sad part is that you were possibly the only one that noticed. And do you think that 5 years ago you would have? Our experiences color our perspectives, our children teach us so much just by being who they are.

  4. I'm with Bron's thinking!

    Just awful :(

  5. I have sometimes wondered what people think about me when i'm at a cafe or at my friends bar for an arvo beer, because i face Elliott away from me. If they were to ask me, i'd tell them that i have hunted out the prime position for him so that he can do his favourite pass-time of watching traffic and people and he'd much prefer doing that than staring at my mug as per usual! I guess our minds will always wonder unless we actively seek answers, but i can't imagine ever walking up to a stranger and asking them why?

  6. I'm right there with Colin and with you. I notice SO much more now than I ever did. And I often wonder how I used to look at the world. I remember once - in Michaels, I saw a man with a very pronounced gait. I was pregnant with the twins and ran out of the store crying. (seriously.) Now... I would be so PROUD if Alexander walked with a pronounced gait. Anyway.... I worry about after I'm gone. I pray that Alexander will always have interaction. love the post. love your perspectives. Kristen

  7. I wonder if, maybe, he chooses not to interact while they're out? I know a lot of young men that age would be pretty cross about being dragged to the shops with mum, maybe she gets the silent treatment there and then back to normal at home. Or perhaps they each prefer to sit and people-watch and enjoy their cuppa in peace and quiet.

    I use a communication aid, one of my biggest bugbears is when people attempt to speak to my personal assistants (aides to any Americans reading) instead of to me - I don't know if it's that they assume that I can't understand speech, or that they're just too much of a coward to talk to someone using a speech synthesiser, but it really gets my back up. I've trained my assistants now to actively avoid eye contact, turn away or even leave the room if necessary so that the person will speak to me! But there's a flipside to that - my personal assistants are just that, assistants not friends, and sometimes I don't *want* to interact with them, I want to interact with the rest of the world as if they weren't there - I can easily see myself in the situation you've described, and in that context sitting quietly and reading the paper is EXACTLY what I'd want them to be doing!