“Calm down and Come Here”

Cameron is a very high-functioning Autistic boy. He is so high-functioning, that you would have to spend several minutes with him, before you said to yourself, “Something about this child is a bit…. different.”

In most cases, when we’re walking around in public, the people who notice him only see him as a cute boy who seems to talk too much. They likely assume that he is much older than he really is, as he is quite tall for his age. This being the case, the “cute” effect might not last as long.

This past weekend, his Autism was more clear than it sometimes is. I often say, “His Autism was showing more than usual. “

We were walking through Walmart, and he was chattering a bit, but not in the usual way. He was pacing at the ends of isles, flapping his hands, wandering a bit, and repeating phrases.

I repeatedly told him to, “Calm down and come here.”

I was certain that the average passerby must be thinking, why does she keep him so close? He looks like he’s big enough to walk around by himself.”

If they really took a moment to notice the other actions he was displaying, if they had been exposed to knowledge of the Autism Spectrum, they would have realized that he was not the average child. However, most people don’t know about the range of behaviors.

Because most people don’t know, I will educate people, one person at a time. I will smile when they appear confused. I will try not to take offense to their lack of knowledge. I will answer questions if they wish to inquire. 

It’s not their fault that they don’t know. I didn’t know much about Autism, until it entered my life. 

We’re all on a journey together, whether we have Autistic children or not. It is a journey to spread the love, kindness, and understanding. We don’t have to be the same color, sex, religion, or have brains that work exactly the same – to simply be accepted. 

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Posted on October 3, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Wow, well said! 🙂

    Not every look we get as families with Autism are negative. Sometimes people are processing and learning, in a sense.

    I try to always “assume positive intent.”

    • Yes, I think most people are simply curious. I try to keep that in mind.
      Also, when a child is screaming and thrashing in an isle, I am not so quick to assume that they are a “brat,” but maybe have some special challenges, of which we, as the general public, are unaware. I usually try to give an encouraging smile to the parents.

      • I hear you!

        I saw a mom and screaming child in a store recently. The Mom was frazzled and the kiddo was scattering her stuff around. I helped her pick up the stuff and patted her shoulder. Told her that all parents have been there.

        I saw her shoulders go down a couple inches. A little common ground is an equalizer.

        • You did a beautiful thing, letting that mom know that your heart was reaching out to her, and that she wasn’t alone or being judged. Sometimes, even a little understanding smile is enough to help someone in that situation. At times, I have said, “I know exactly what you’re going through right now. Been there, done that.” This is usually met with a grateful smile.

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