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Phenomena - Hope in Autism

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Sarah Broady
May 26, 2024

We are in Indiana this week visiting Kyle’s family. It’s always fun spending time with Mimi, PaPaw, uncle Cory and uncle Troy. Today, we went to the opening of The Muppets movie. What a piece of nostalgia! It was a great movie. I kept waiting for one of my favorite Muppetisms: Mahnamahna. It finally came at the end, and we were all singing “Mahnamahna! Doo doo doo doo doo doo…. Mahnamahna!” together and continued on our way out of the theatre. It’s kind of like a soundtrack to my life at times. It sounds very happy-go-lucky, and silly and doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

I’ve been described many times as a “happy-go-lucky” person with “pie in the sky” optimism and generally a pretty happy and fun person (although that may have changed as I’ve grown up a bit). When I’m at my best, I’d say the “Phenomena” sketch is definitely the best way to describe me. I love the sketch of Sandra Bullock as a therapist talking to Kermit the Frog in a padded office. She’s all professional asking Kermit what seems to be the problem, and he tells her that whenever he says, “Phenomena” something weird happens. (I don’t know why the word was later changed to “mahnamahna.” These little muppet monsters pop up and start be-bopping. Sandra tries it herself, finds it fun and amusing and totally cuts loose undoing her pony tail, dancing and swinging her hair in the air. She pulls it together at the end, but it’s hilarious to me. The whole sketch is completely random and funny. At many times, this is the exact picture of our life, with the exception of the padded room.

I’ll be going along in life in normal fashion, doing my job as a wife and mother, and then I get interrupted by little monsters that completely change everything, especially one little monster. Samuel likes to do this one particular diddy with me: he’ll come to me and put his arms around my neck or his hands on my face and smile and say, “Meh (pause), meh meh meh meh”. I started babbling with him, which he just thinks is hilarious and he melts into laughter. Then he pulls it together, and we do it all over again. If I don’t stop him, he’ll repeat it endlessly.

Most times, these kinds of daily interruptions often remind me of Monty Python’s phrase phrase from The Flying Circus, “And now, for something completely different…” Although some days the “something completely different” is the thing that looks most “normal” because most of the day is made up of randomness and senseless conversation or other circumstances. Yet, there’s something amusing about it all and although occasionally frustrating, I just can’t help but smile and embrace the moment for what it is: Life as we know it.

Meet Sarah

Sarah is a wife and mother to three sons, one of whom has autism. She is a writer, speaker, and producer and host of A Special Hope Podcast.


Listen Now

Discovering special hope in the stories of those living with special needs, those who strive to minister to special needs families, and the God who is making all things new. Available here, or anywhere you podcast.

If you are enjoying this site and the podcast, please consider a donation of any size to contribute to the costs associated with running a website and a podcast. Any and all gifts are greatly appreciated!

How Movies Helped Me as an Autistic Person

This guest post is by Samuel Broady, a young man who was diagnosed with autism at 2 and plans to attend Columbia College Chicago. Samuel is applying for the Spring 2023 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference.

Check out Sandra’s latest release,
Unexpected Blessings:

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