Have you ever had a teacher or someone call your name out in front of a crowd...?..and it embarrass you? Well sis has a HUGE phobia of being called out.....ANYWHERE . We are not aloud to even sing her Happy Birthday when its just family . I have to send a note to school so no announcements are made and that the class doesn't sing either . Now normally everyone is proud on their Birthday or of an accomplishment , but for some reason sis just wants to melt and be non-existent . I'm not quite sure why,but i respect her wishes and do as she asks .
Before we realized this was a major problem we took her to her favorite steak house for her 5th Birthday.When i took her to the bathroom Dad told the waitress it was her Birthday,he was thinking she would get Ice cream and think it was neat.....BOY were we wrong.! After we were done eating the waitress gathered all her fellow servers and started clapping and approached our table.The look on Sis's face was heart wrenching. Her eyes got Huge and her eyes filled with tears and she cut loose.I don't think I have ever been that speechless in my life. The servers didn't know whether to stop or keep singing.Sis slumped down in her seat and buried her head in my lap.She was so upset she couldn't even touch her big bowl of ice cream smothered in chocolate. Wow ...what a fail on our part! Our poor waitress teared up and kept apologizing we had to reassure her we didn't think that ,that's how she would react. Needless to say Sis wouldn't let us take her back for close to a year and we have not nor will not ever do that again.It didn't make matters better with 3 brothers sitting across the table in hysterics.They felt bad afterwards ,but it was the initial reaction i guess.
On the same tune ,her first year she started showing her horse,everytime they called her name to enter a class she started crying.If the crowd snickered ,because she was so darn cute on this big old horse ,she thought they were laughing at her. That took some serious coaching on our part,but we have over come that one. She blocks out the crowd and pretends like no one is watching. That my friend is part of teaching a child to cope with a problem instead of masking it with medication.
Her horses are her friends and she has a strong connection to them.We use them as her therapy in warm months and she has made tremendous strides because of them. Before she was diagnosed we managed a horse barn, she was 4 at that time. She was at work with us everyday through the summer and weekends and after school on school days.She never was a problem,she could find the simplest things to entertain herself. We found it amazing that in a short time,she had memorized all the horses,where their stalls were,what their diets were,what their quirks where,who owned who and how often they came to visit.She even memorized their turn out pastures ,the owners vehicles, ages on the horses,what horses where top pecking order vs bottom.We soon had a barn full around 28-29 horses and she knew knew them all! I had several kids that would come out and volunteer. Sis was the tour guide. She told them everything she thought they should know and she would stand at the top of the isle and direct them to who goes into what stall.
One boarder ( I will call J ) came out daily sometimes twice a day. Sis would greet her in the parking lot and walk her in. She would sit for ever and watch as J groomed her horse, and tacked him up. Then she would sneak down and watch her ride in the arena. On one particular day after riding J came up to me chuckling. She had not seen sis sitting behind the rail.As she came around the corner Sis piped up and critiqued her riding. Now while most people would have been annoyed ,J was taken back. Sis was totally correct on what she was doing wrong. J did not get offended ,but was amazed at her knowledge. They became best buddies at the barn ,and if J was there you could almost guarantee Sis was close by ,to lend a helping hand,offer suggestions or just talk about their day. I would say J had a major impact on her life at that time.Sis would rather be with the big people then to be with kids her own age. J always gave Sis respect and talked to her like a friend not some like rugrat at the barn.