A blog posting by The Neuortypical Mom got me thinking. She posted about the public's awareness of autism but there lack of acceptance is what the real problem is.
We accept a lot of this in life. As a Parents to a special needs child, we have more to accept. We have been there, we have "done" that. We accept.
Now what Im really writing about today is ME. I have always known Patrick was "different". GOSH, we were still in the hospital when I got the feeling of... hmm something isnt right. When we are out in public and Patrick has a melt down or starts "acting different" I feel like I close out the world and just deal. Im not worried what people think or am i? Do I close everyone out, so I dont see there stares or shaking heads? Patrick use to chew on a chewy tube, mostly when we were out in public ( most stressful time for him) and I would get looks. People had to be wondering what the heck was coming out of his mouth lol. BUT I just turn it around in my head, assume they are looking at him bc he is adorable (DUH?) and smile back. OR when he wants to make the grocery store doors open and close 100x. I let him bc it makes him happy. Do I think about the social acceptance, sure, but really I want him to be happy. If that means, in order to get through shopping peacefully, I let him play with the doors?!?! YES! Does its mean, in order to go out to the pumpkin patch and have him enjoy it, he needs the bright red chewy tube hanging out of his mouth?!?!? YES! Does it mean, that when we go to the restaurant and I let him walk around and explore all the way up to the time dinner comes, that I get to sit and enjoy my dinner?!?!? YES! Are the people Im having dinner with, annoyed that Im not sharing this time with them? Probably... BUT it makes him happy and I get to EAT lol.
So am I really just not caring what people think or just not giving them a chance to notice there judging?
We were at the aquarium the other week. It was a school day, so NOBODY was there. Patrick's favorite thing to do there is watch the seals. He can watch them for hours. So I am sitting there and Patrick is jumping around, giggling his head off and having a blast, when a family walks in. I know it has to look weird, we basically set up camp in the seal area (we had been there for 45 mins already) and my son is OVERLY excited to watch seals swim in circles. lol. The little girl, looks at Patrick, puzzled. She says to her mommy, "why is that boy jumping around soo much?" The mother looked at Patrick and said "I dont know, sweetie".
COME ON MOM! REALLY? I could of thought of SOOO many simple answers to give to that little girl and you say "I DONT KNOW?"
But again I close them out and just focus on Patrick, on the joy stretched across his face, on the fact that we are out in public and he is dealing with it.
I know I commented on Autism Mom on a Journey's page the other day about never having the experience of someone being a down right jerk. But have I and I have never payed it any mind bc, like Patrick, I have my own little world where I feel safe and protected?