See photo below:
|This is wrong on so many levels|
It has been amazingly challenging for me to bite my tongue for the last 4 years a lot of the time when I see people staring at my child for some of the behavior that IS Autism. Be it flapping, hopping, jumping, shrieking, running, hysterical laughter, and incessant chattering or scripting.
Our children are living in this world where acceptance is a huge challenge. It is a challenge because it is easier to live unaware than it is to make yourself aware. As I am navigating my way through the school districts and schools, I am learning this more and more. Our children are pushed back into the portable buildings and for the most part forgotten. We find out about things at school last, if the flyers even bother to make it to our backpacks on time for an event, or special dress day, or something like that. I've been slapped with the epic reality that the schools and principals and teacher "HAVE TO" take our kids, few necessarily "WANT TO" have them there.
I've heard and had mothers tell me (before they knew I was a Special Ed Mom) "I have to move my child's classroom, the SDC kids are just too disruptive and loud" with a large eye roll from her. One of the best moments in life was the next day when she saw me in the Special Ed office, yeah, she avoids eye contact with me at all costs now.
Our children are just as awesomesauce and amazing as the rest of the kids at school. No, my kids are probably never going to be home run hitters and play on a sports team. But last month after months of working on it we got Franklin to shake his head for "NO", and nod his head for "YES". This was the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in my life. I believe that people just do not realize the work and struggle it took to make that happen the neurological labyrinth that is his brain was defeated by a team of people that work tirelessly to help my kid become Awesome. Isn't it more awesome that someone can effectively communicate their wants and needs than scoring touchdowns?
The amount of work it takes to control his body, the flapping, the jumping the yammering is intense and challenging more than any Tough Mudder, Mud Run or marathon I could run. He flaps when he is happy and excited, and yet people stare and make faces and fun of him. We don't stare at your children when they are excited to see Lightning McQueen or a garbage truck.
|Jackson happy as a lark flapping away|
|Mid Flight and Flap|
|Happy but the world is loud|
|Shaking his head NO|
|Nodding for yes -|
|The world doesn't understand me sometimes.|
The amount of work and therapy and challenges that these children have to go through on a daily basis, should give them only enormous amounts of respect, adoration, and awe. They deserve that, because there is nothing more than amazing and incredible. The acceptance has to come from everywhere. These children live amongst you, and just as you would be in awe of an athlete or scholar, inventor, or business person for an amazing accomplishment - please be just as in awe and acknowledge and respect a kid because he can nod his head - it is that awesome, it is that amazing, and it is something that should be adored and respected.