17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

My AVG Child

Asher Victoriano Guzman. It was only AFTER we named our second son that friends poked fun of his initials. I was a little annoyed that I had unwittingly condemned my son to a life of being 5’8/ a C student/ in middle management. Let’s be honest here, everyone thinks their kids are destined for greatness and way too much of our self-worth as parents is tied into how our kids turn out.

Six months after Asher’s birth, my older son, Noe (then 2 ½), was diagnosed with mild autism. Average suddenly sounded really wonderful.

Noe doesn’t do anything within the mean. His language skills are severely delayed. He just turned three and is barely starting to say words and understand simple directions. His social skills and some of his fine motor skills are also delayed.

On the other hand, Noe possesses an amazing aptitude for visual and spatial relationships. He puts together 100 piece jigsaw puzzles in minutes and can find his way home from just about anywhere (it’s like having my own little GPS with legs!). Noe continues to bring me a tremendous amount of joy, but his jagged development is maddening and often stressful. Despite the progress he has made through various therapies since his diagnosis, I stay up many a late night worrying about his future.

As much as I love Noe, I have come to appreciate my AVG son and every developmental milestone he passes not early, not late, but right on time.


  • My grandson has ausperger's and he is normal in every way that anyone would notice. We, of course, notice a few things, but I'm convinced he has every chance for a good life.

    If he lives. This kid loves to climb and jump off stuff and do every dangerous thing there is.
    posted by Blogger annegb at 1/14/2006 09:04:00 AM  

  • good blog, by the way. you made me laugh and hey, what's not to love?
    posted by Blogger annegb at 1/14/2006 09:06:00 AM  

  • This is a wonderful post, Jen. There is a boy in my Primary class who sounds very familiar to your Noe, and I've learned so much from him. Being average is overrated.
    posted by Blogger Tess at 1/14/2006 12:12:00 PM  

  • I love Jen and I love Noe and the puzzle thing is truly amazing...
    I am wondering if once you found out about the autism, did you completely rewind the last 2 1/2 years and have a fresh perspective on everything you experienced with Noe...and now with Asher...how different is it?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/14/2006 01:22:00 PM  

  • Wow, Noe is an amazing kid. Its interesting to think of what other abilities he has hidden within the autism - 100 piece puzzle in minutes - that's pretty incredible. I am so impressed by you, Jen.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 1/14/2006 04:26:00 PM  

  • ps Noe couldn't have a better mother. She is really putting so much into his educatio and development..and fighting for her rights!!!
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/14/2006 07:26:00 PM  

  • There are so many potential dangers when naming a child, aren't there? It's astounding that we even dare.

    But I'm glad yours is turning out okay after all.
    posted by Blogger fMhLisa at 1/14/2006 10:31:00 PM  

  • kage, you are too good of friend to me....yeah...a lot about Noe made sense after his diagnosis and as I learned more about autism. It was easy to make excuses for him....he was premature, there is a history of late talkers in our family, etc. But some of his behaviors never did make sense to me (his intense concentration and lack of imitating other kids). The big problem was, I only knew what severe autism looked like...I didn't know what it looked like in a child in a more mild form. I think I would have caught it earlier if I would have had more education/experience with mild autism...although it's easy to live in Denial.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 1/15/2006 05:05:00 PM  

  • A lovely, lovely post. Average children--what does this mean, anyway?
    posted by Blogger newmom at 1/16/2006 02:42:00 PM  

  • Jen, I love your post. Each child is so unique and although they struggle with some things they also have these amazing talents and strengths. I think that is so cool about Noe and puzzles. And it is great that Asher is developmentally dependable. You are a great mom and will bring out the strengths of both.
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 1/17/2006 03:26:00 PM  

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