“I don’t like him.” “He is mean,” were the words that tore my heart out and stomped it to the ground . This was coming from a friend’s son who I had invited over for a holiday party. He was talking about my autistic 5 year old son. My son was up in one of the trees doing his own thing ignoring the rest of the children at the party as is his normal way of dealing with too many people. He ignores or does his own thing, sometimes coming out of his own world to interact but still doing it in his own way, with his own idea of boundaries that he will not cross. Such as play the games like everybody else in tag, putting down the sprinkler while everybody yells at him to because he is entranced with the workings of the sprinkler, or stop pushing children on the swing after he believes he is doing what is social correct as he was asked to push them. These social cues are lost on him and other children usually can not understand why he is not like them and do like they do. So they don’t like him and call him mean, where there is not a hurtful bone in my son’s body. We actually called him the “yoga baby” because of his extremely peaceful nature. This nature did not start to worry me until he would just walk away from being pushed around by another child at the park. It made me worry about his self confidence. So with that little back ground you can imagine how I react to a non delayed child judging my son, especially as this child had been in his life since babyhood. Mommy Bear shoved to the surface, but as they are both important to me it is more important to me that I bring them together then tear them apart by saying “fine you don’t understand then you don’t play together.” Instead I sat him down and our conversation went like this:
me: “See that tree he is in.”
me: “what do you see”
child: ” A tree”
me: ” Well he see’s leafs, bark, bugs, pointy sticks, as well as hears the rattle of the branches, us having fun, the birds singing, the smell of the BBQ and a lot more. All of this is knocking on his head wanting his attention while you also say something. His mind is just a little bit busy, but if you wait he will get to you.”
child: “yeah, his head is busy.”
me: “yep, he likes you and your are his friend, you just have a special way of communicating. It is secret.”
And off this child who had broke my heart went and mended it the next second while he ofcourse yelled at my son to get down, waited for him and then dragged him off to get more cupcakes. Why I am sharing this story is because it is important to have our autistic children socialize and interact with others but it is also important for parents to try to explain how their child is so others can understand them. This is not always easy and can feel heart wrenching. But in the end you are the adult, your job is to guide your child through the trails and tribulations they may have. Making sure their friends know the real them is one of them.
- ~Awe inspiring autism~ (spongeoforiginality.wordpress.com)
- Have You Been Carly’d Recently? (theconnorchronicles.wordpress.com)
- Opinion: Expanded definition of ‘autism’ goes astray (nj.com)
For the last week of school I went to a local elementary school and sat down to read to some very curious kindergarten children. With my book, stuffed panda Wang Ming, panda hat, and crafts we entered the territory of the kindergarteners. The hat was passed along with a few little lords and ladies not wanting to share but like young geniuses that they will one day be they magnanimously shared their treasure. Now Wang Ming the stuffed panda, he was handled with loving care and lots of hugs and kisses. Story time went along with me reading about Wang Ming’s great adventures while these young minds taught me all that they knew about pandas. I was taught that bamboo would be too hard to eat, friends are very important, to always listen to your mommy, and much more. Story time was interspersed with me asking and answering questions, being pointed out different parts in the illustration, and told what Wang Ming should be doing. I was kept on my toes by these little lord and ladies. It was a blast. Next was craft time. With the snips of scissors, smacks of glue, and scratches of markers many new pandas were created in the colors of the rainbow. Each new panda was was christened a name by their lords and ladies, and then I was introduced to the poo poo song. Yep, never heard of it before, but with their little panda masks on their faces I got to see many different pandas wage and shake to the poo poo song. It was a heart warm experience where I got to see these little lords and ladies live out Wang Wing’s message right in front of me. Each of them different, each of them unique, but each accepting of each other.
Well today was the day when it was just too hot to do anything but stay home. Thankfully I had frozen fruit left over from drinks from memorial day. As an activity I put it in the children’s pool and let my children watch it melt, They watched, munched on the fruit, and then made their own cocktail soup of frozen fruit, dirt, hose water, and juice. Then they decided to wrestle in it. After a hose down
(never let your children wrestel in fruit, strawberries are a nightmare to get out of your baby’s hair)they crashed for a nap. Sometimes you don’t ask and thank god for small blessings. Happy Summer everybody, may we all survive having the kiddies at home and the heat.
Yosemite was the second stop for our road trip. After leaving San Diego early in the morning we were off. I had my GPS, printed off directs from google maps, and in the end I trusted the maps app on the phone. It took on some back roads to get there. I made the mistake of picking a nice look gas station to stop at but which was dump inside. Their bathroom was horrible, like those bathrooms you upchuck in after one too many beers out with your sorority sisters in the wrong part of town. Ok when it is just you and other adults, not so great when you have kids. Also a big pet peeve was that they had no area for me to clean my car’s window. Think about the fact that I had just driven through the farming belt of California. My car was the bug terminator, yuck. After this our next stop was a hole in the wall family pizza place, they had the best pizza ever. I wish I remembered their name but it is one of the small stops heading into Yosemite on CA-41. Sorry I don’t have any more to message on it. The town we decided to stay at was Mariposa CA at their Best Western. After all the logistics we were off to Yosemite again. Going in you are overwelmed with just how beautiful it is. I would adivice you to stop at many of that stop you can and to stay longer than a just a day. This place should be visited for at least a week to really enjoy it. My children loved running in the fields, hiking waterfalls, getting lost on trails, and trying to pick up the wildlife. While driving to another stop we passed a coyoty, but it may have been a wolf. While we were in our car taking pictures of it, it just stood there licking it’s chops debating if it wanted to jump in our car. A few yards ahead we passed some hikers and all I could think was “there’s lunch.” I know this is not true but my dark humor got a kick out of that. My favorite fall was Bridalveil Fall, my daughter loved the lower valley and their bridge. My son on the other hand decided he did not want to hike and was the party pooper of the trip. We did not let it stop us from having fun and he just had to hoof it with us. This was a family trip by the way and we all participate. I have to say some of these hikes kicked my butt and I just have to blame it on the elivation. I can not accept it that I am that out of shape. My only regret about this visit is that we did not schedual enough time and that I did not take some adult time out to really challenge myself on some the waterfall hikes they have.
Yosemite is a must to visit if you are in California, make sure you rent your hotel and any tours before hand and if you stay in Mariposa eat at the Happy Burger Diner. This reminded me of the mom and pop stops I went to as a child, I had their stuffed baked potato and chocolate shake. It was divine and the perfect end to the day. I am planning a adult trip there soon.