Got a birthday card from my 4 year old grandson---who happens to be autistic. Yes, I know his mom picked it out. Yes, I know he doesn't speak words quite yet but this is oh-so Noah!
"Grandma, as I get older, I realize that you've been right about SO MANY things....I AM adorable, for example. And talented, and quite possibly a GENIUS. You were so insightful to see that. Happy Birthday. Ps, Of course I get all my best qualities from YOU."
That is sooooooo Noah cause I hear his wheels turning in his brain! And yes, Grandma does think he is an absolute genius!!
When I read the card, it was just as if Noah was speaking to me because I could just hear him. If you have an autistic child in your life, you understand what I am talking about. Each child is different, though. Noah has excellent eye contact with people. He looks at me and understands what I say, and you can see the wheels turning.
He is an excellent problem solver and very seldom whines about things because he generally solves his own problems. Except....the TV. He does whine about that and wants the channel changed but sometimes it is not clear what he wants to watch. Sometimes, I think he doesn't even know what he wants to watch. But in most things, he figures out what he needs and gets it done.
My hope is that people outside the autism spectrum begin to understand and respect the plight of the autistic child. In public, things do not run as smoothly as at home. In public, an autistic child may seem unruly, fidgety, disrespectful, noisy, undisciplined....and many may wonder 'why don't those parents take that child out' or 'why doesn't that mom punish that child'. Punishment is NOT the appropriate thing to do, especially in a public setting. Those children are reacting to many things such as sensory overload. They see things, hear things, smell things, that you and I cannot and their brains are assaulted by too much.
If we don't take Noah out to restaurants, stores, ice cream shoppes, hair clipperies, and deal with his quirks, he will never learn how to assimilate into "normal" life, or what most people call normal. Noah has to learn how to behave in public, how to respond properly, how to sit still, and how will he learn unless he is introduced to those situations daily. He has to learn how to deal with his sensory issues in a public setting.
So "normal" people, I urge you, when you see a situation where you want to jump to conclusions, don't jump. That autistic child, those parents, need your support and understanding. Basically, smile and mind your own business!! Well, mostly anyway.