This week on our blog we are excited to introduce you to the Dorothy's: Fredric (dad), Crystal (mom), Everett & Finn. Everett is our special man of the hour for this edition of our mini blog series about Diversity! He was diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorder between the ages of 3 and 4. What does this mean? It means that on any given day Fredric and Crystal are constantly working on ways to ensure Everett doesn't experience sensory overload.
For some children on the spectrum, when overloaded, they start to retreat and hide away. Everett however, gets loud and violent. Despite all of this, Everett and his younger brother Finn bring their parents immense joy and laughter! Everett's milestones look a bit different than other kids but Fredric and Crystal have learned to celebrate each accomplishment! Now, at almost 5, he tells them crazy stories, runs and jumps on everything, and has come so far, in so many ways. He loves DANCING DUDES! (aka inflatable tube men), Legos, building things, watching cartoons, swimming, playing instruments, and playing outside.
One of the reasons the Dorothy's love SwimZip is that it makes it easy for Everett to dress and undress. The zippers are easy to use for little hands and it gives Everett a sense of accomplishment and pride. The other main reason they use SwimZip is the SPF protection! Everett frequently protests the application of sunscreen due to how it feels on his skin, so they often rely on SwimZip to help protect him and Finn while outside. Among some of their favorite SwimZip suits are our Tie Dye Swim Trunk Set, any of our Long Sleeve Rash Guards, and our Sunhats, which Crystal says are "hands down seriously fantastic!".
I asked Crystal what it's like being a parent to a child with special needs and any advice she has for other parents. This is what she said:
"Being a mother to a child on the spectrum, is tricky. It's so hard to not compare him to his peers or worry about his future constantly. I'm constantly advocating for Everett and his future. I'm fairly lucky though, I have a strong support network and friends who work with their children to understand Everett's differences. I offhandedly made a comment to a friend the other day about how kids seem to always run from Everett or make him the "bad guy" in their games. I told her how I worry that Everett's starting to think that he's actually bad because of this. She immediately called her kid over and made sure to explain that both he and Everett were good superheroes and that they needed to work like a team to battle injustice. It's little things like this that I wish more parents would teach their neurotypical children. There is so much fear and alienation around children who don't fit into society's standards of "normalcy" that it makes it hard for kids on the spectrum to be treated like everyone else. I'd love to see more parents teaching acceptance and patience for kiddos that might be different than them."
Head over to the Dorothy's Instagram and give them some love!