Monday, November 8, 2010

A Different Kind of Cool

This weekend I had the privilege (thanks Mom and Dad) to see Jack Gallagher’s one man show, A Different Kind of Cool. From the beginning, I was captivated as he shared his honest experience in raising a son with autism. There were times when I laughed, which was no surprise since he’s a comedian, but I also had to hold on tight to my tissue because the tears started to flow.

Even though my son has a different kind of illness, I could relate to the pain and frustrations he’s felt. Especially the pointless efforts to “fix” my child. Early on in my son’s illness I read every book I could get my hands on, trying to learn the perfect parenting techniques to help my son get better. It wasn’t long before I realized that his illness wasn’t going to disappear because I used the Magic 1, 2, 3 timeout method. I had to come to terms that I couldn’t fix this.

I could also relate to the sadness he shared in knowing that your child has a serious illness and how it breaks your heart in half. He shared a terrifying experience where he watched his 4 yr. old son being taking out by the ocean. He remained helpless to save his son, only being able to watch it happen from a distance. This story seems to fit my own experience sometimes when I too feel helpless as I watch my son being sucked out by this illness. Like his story, all I can do is watch from a distance, bringing me unimaginable pain.

I also appreciated his honesty when he shared how once his son was given a label of autism, he started to treat him differently, he started to see him through the eyes of the label, forgetting the fun, creative son he was before the diagnosis.

I think it’s easy to fall into this. When our children’s illness takes over our lives, we all can get lost in it. It can be easy to forget that our kids are still those silly, creative, sensitive children under all those screaming symptoms.

As Gallagher states in his show, “They said my son was something, but he is Liam.”

I really like that. I know my son has many challenges, but he isn’t those challenges, he is my son and I’ll love him forever.

* * *

You can read more about this one man show at the following link.

Review by The Autism News:
A Different Kind of Cool

Jack Gallagher’s website:
http://www.jackgallagher.info/intro.cfm

You have to see this amazing show yourself!
http://www.jackgallagher.info/Store.cfm


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