The “apple tree” debate

Idioms: noun a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., rain cats and dogs, see the light ).

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 

This above statement is a great example of an idiom. Several years ago, I was sitting across the table from a family, who’s child I used to work with at an IEP meeting. And during this particular meeting, I presented to my team several graphs, data spreadsheets, and samples of their child’s work that I was particularly proud of to the parents and team. And as I made my recommendations for the following school year, I was slightly taken back by the lack of enthusiasm displayed by the parents. I guess they weren’t as impressed by their child’s progress as I was. 

Once the meeting ended, one of the members of my team said, “well, it looks like the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.” Slightly stunned, I asked her what she meant by that, and she continued to assume that one of the parents must’ve had a neurological disability as well, because the likeness between one of the parents and their child was “uncanny.” I chose to smile a fake smile and left, because I just didn’t want to hear anymore. 

That statement has stayed with me since. 

Last week I had my own child’s IEP meeting, and since the statement above has haunted me for the past several years, I always wondered what my sons team thinks about my husband and I. Do they assume that we’re on the spectrum as well? Do they actually care about my child? Are they thinking about things while the others take turns talking about our son? 

Yes, I think about these things at every meeting. 

My son is a lot like my husband and I in every way. He has a lot of my husbands mannerisms, he looks just like me, he’s creative and sensitive (just the both of us), he’s short tempered (just like me), he’s kind without a reason, and his thirst for knowledge never ceases. Just like his dad. So, “if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” I look at all of those characteristics as a compliment. But as for the autism, it’s its own entity, altogether. I mean, I could script lines from my favorite movies all day if you let me, and being startled by loud noises, such a fire alarm, just sends me sometimes, but as an adult… I deal with it and move on.  It’s the judgments from other people that only know what they choose to see, irks me to no living end. 

So, if you’re apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, take it as a compliment or with a grain of salt, because everybody deserves a fair chance without judgement. 

Even you. 

2 thoughts on “The “apple tree” debate

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