Friday, January 28, 2011

The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers

One of my favorite childhood books is "Winnie the Pooh".  I have read it many times as a child. I have read it to both of my children. I am inspired by A. A. Milne's ability to lovingly portray characters and their quirky attributes:

Eeyore, the introvert, with his slow pace and monotone voice.

Piglet, with his constant worry and anxiety.

And of course, Pooh and his eternal love of honey.

For each of Milne's characters, I can think of someone in my life who is similar.

Owl, the wise adviser, is my Mom, Evelyn.

Kanga, the consummate mother, is my sister Christine.

And Winnie the Pooh, without a doubt, is my son, Nicholas.

What I love most about Milne's writing, is despite the flaws these characters possess: anxiety, depression, nervousness, or obsession, each character is still lovable. Each character is valued. Each character is considered an important and unique addition to the 100 Acre Wood.

When I read, "Winnie the Pooh", I am reminded of my son, Weston. He is, of course, Tigger.

T.......I........double G.........errrrr!

In fact, I wonder if perhaps A. A. Milne had a son diagnosed with ADHD? These lyrics hold much clarity into the personality of a hyperactive child.


The wonderful thing about Tiggers,

Are Tiggers are wonderful things.

Their tops are made out of rubber,

Their bottoms are made out of springs.

They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy. pouncy,

Fun, fun, fun, fun, Fun.

But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is...

I'm the only one, Yes, I'm the only one!

I am the mother of two children diagnosed with special needs. Although my son, Nicholas, is diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome, a severe and devastating disease, it is my son, Weston who struggles most in navigating his way through this world.

Because he looks so "normal" and ADHD is not considered a REAL disorder, he is judged, scorned, disciplined harshly and outcast by the rest of the world. His hyperactivity, lack of social skills, and bouncy energy cause others to avoid him. Students, teachers, administrators and parents alike, often do not embrace Weston's unique personality. He is not valued. He is not understood. He often feels like he is an outcast. He feels like he is truly.......the only one.

I am struggling with Weston's transition into the middle school. I am struggling to enlighten his teachers so that they may embrace his disability and recognize that it is indeed real. I am struggling to get them to realize the importance of making him feel good about himself.

I think A.A. Milne had a vision of this world, a vision that created a world where everyone is valued and loved. Everyone is important, no matter how quirky, no matter how anxious, no matter how hyperactive.

A world that looks a lot like the 100 Acre Wood.

I think I will bring a copy of "Winnie the Pooh" to Weston's next IEP meeting. 


Tiggers are wonderful things!

 To read more about how we are coping with ADHD and Prader Willi Syndome, come visit our blog at:


  1. Thank you, Lisa! Maybe this is why I still get emotional when I catch glimpses of Pooh -- a favorite of my kids and I too, but so many years ago. I have a son in middle school with HF Autism and I understand exactly how you feel. God bless you for being such a great mom!

  2. Dear Lisa,
    I totally agree with you bringing "Winnie The Pooh" to Weston's next IEP meetng. Everyone has value and talents and actually it is the people in the world that are different that make a difference. You can't tell me that Einstein didn't have Asperger's. It is a long and hard road. My daughter, Mireille has PWS. She doesn"t have the food seeking as much as the slow metabolism. My mistake is not being restrictive enough(I've been told that I am a flower child!), adn the guilt of us trying to lead a "normal"life with the consequences weight gain. For example, we always go on vacation(I"m a single Mom) but when you eat out... My child also does not fit into the box (does anyone's?) and it is a constant struggle balancing food vs normal life and socialization. Mireille is intelligent and says she only has PWS "medically", which is not true-tantraming, over 300 lbs, sees things more in black and white..., but she won't accept it. Her father took her to a PWS holiday party and she socialized with the PWS kids" siblings . She is a gray area which makes things tougher , yet I am proud of her and her accomplishments. Sometimes I feel all alone and I just can't take it any more. The older she gets the harder the challenges. But no one knows your child like you-for better or worse- and we are their best advocates. Good luck. I understand where you're coming from.

  3. Thank you for your comments, Jennifer and Loryn. It is nice to know there are others who can relate. Loryn, as a single Mom it must be very challenging. I have much respect for any parent who can do all this alone. It is a difficult job that few can understand. Sending you both much peace!