I have written this post and deleted it a million times. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get the message out. Maybe I’m just not good with words and should stay away from the keyboard and just post my pictures with a little tiny note.
I always worry if I’m sharing too much, if people really care what I have to say and at the end I just keep it simple and don’t go too deep on any topic.
This is obviously one of those times. It’s the time when I’m worried sick because school is about to start and that brings lots of anxiety. As a mom of a boy in the autism spectrum, I know there are millions of moms out there feeling the way I do. Worrying about what can they do to make this year a better one for their little ones. Sometimes it’s a very lonely world for us. I found myself in a corner in the classroom yesterday staring at everybody’s faces wondering if I should go ahead and approach them one by one and talk to them about my son. So I started walking towards one of the moms and saw my son approaching a kid, showing him his new pal (a stuff animal, Perry the platypus) and the kid gave him back a “whatever” look and went back to what he was doing. Then my son approached a little girl, this time, she was a little more receptive and asked a few questions and my son was so happy to answer. Well, that was better, I thought. So I kept walking towards one of the moms, introduced myself and when I was going to start the conversation about my boy, she said she was gonna go to sit on a table and fill up some forms. (sigh). There went my bravery , I took a deep breath and decided to try again. Then I saw another mom with a baby in arms and I thought, well, this is a piece of cake, she has a baby girl, I have a baby girl, and both of us have our boys in this classroom, so I walked towards her, complimented her baby, asked here how old she was, pointed at my stroller with my baby, told her my baby is already one, and just when I was going to start the conversation about my boy again she started to look busy staring at some boards on the wall, reading. I looked around and there was my boy introducing himself and his pal to all the kids walking inside the classroom. We tried hard but at the end I decided to leave before our spirits were completely broken.
So here it goes for all the moms that have kids in school. There’s probably a mom like me out there trying to reach out to you.
All I wanted to do was to introduce myself, I know you’re probably busy, we all are, but there are a few things I really wanted to say.
I wanted to talk to you about my boy. He has high functioning autism, I know you would probably say, oh, but he looks fine!, and that’s exactly why I wanted to talk to you about him. My boy, along with many kids in the world suffer from “invisible” disabilities. You can not see them, and that, sometimes, makes it harder for them because they are judged and misunderstood.
My son has a speech delay, he receives speech therapy in and outside of school. He talks but we’re working on his fluency. We are also working hard on his social skills. If you had the chance to look around, he was the one by the door greeting everybody, trying to make friends. I really appreciate when kids start conversations with him. He mostly talks about the things he loves. He loves to be around kids but sometimes he feels rejected because he may not act like the rest of the kids in his class.
We are both moms and I know you understand when I say that I will do everything I could possibly do in this world to make my son’s life better and to protect his heart. All I wanted to do was to let you know he’s in your kid’s classroom, and he’s a sweet boy, and sometimes he feels lonely. I just wanted to ask if it was possible for you to talk to your kid about my son and let him/her know that he sometimes he may act strange but it’s not he’s fault, sometimes he gets a little overwhelmed by the environment. I wanted to ask if it was ok for me to give you some information about autism so you can read it to your kid.
I wanted to tell you that 1 in 68 kids are diagnosed with autism and my responsibility as an autism mom is to spread awareness, compassion, inclusion and acceptance.
My son wants to be your kid’s friend. I know friendships come from the heart, we just have to open our hearts to “difference”.