Gabriel Joseph Whitehouse
He’s a pretty cool kid. He is sharp as a tack, and he’s got pretty incredible control over his body, even though he’s quick to tell you he’s clumsy. He’s that kid who’s usually super comfortable in his own skin. He is almost immediately really good at everything he tries. Eighth-grade me would have been intimidated by him.
This is a little video I made when I first found an iPad app that allows you to take video in slo-motion. He was playing with his friends, I called him over, and he performed. Easy peasy!
Thinking about our interview with Jacob the other day, I thought it might be neat to get the other kids’ opinions/thoughts on life with Jacob. You just don’t see things like that very often. Beth and I will be taking Sib Shop training in November of this year to learn how to build a program that supports siblings of kids with ASD. We spend so much time on Jacob, we think it’s important to provide services and a fun environment for the Sibs.
Anyway, Gabe is seven years old. When I approached him with the idea of participating in an interview about Jacob, he seemed excited. Gabe said, “I’m going to tell them it’s HARD, HARD, HARD!” I told him that he could say whatever he wanted, as long as it’s true. No questions asked, no judgments. You’ll notice that I lead him a bit in the interview; not to shape his responses, but to give him opportunity to give answers that he’d already given me off camera. You’ll also notice that he tries to be very diplomatic. Nothing is concrete. Everything is “probably” or “sort of” or “kinda.” He’s definitely a people-pleaser. Of our two neuro-typical kids, he’s the one who usually butts heads with Jake, so I’m a little surprised his answers were so neutral.
I was most impressed by his hesitation-free confession that he’s never embarrassed by Jacob. I credit this to the way our family operates. Jake is one of us. He’s different, but different’s not bad. We are proud of him for who he is, not embarrassed by what he isn’t.
Stay tuned for Olivia’s interview that I’m planning for tomorrow. She’s only two years older, but I’m interested to see how her answers vary.