As I sat on the plane waiting for my flight to take off from Atlanta, I catch scraps of conversations from beind me . This 60' something couple is returning from a Canada vacation. They have struck up a friendship with a young man in fatigues returning from a tour of duty .
The woman is telling the soldier " Canada is soooo different from here … over there when you ask for tea they give you hot tea". The soldier is agreeing with her - and saying where he has returned from is very different as well
I suddenly realize that I think the opposite is true
People are actually very alike- even when they seem very different.
Autistic children's behavior is so over pathologized sometimes.
A behavior that seems so strange is so "normal " for a person with a different sensory profile.But can easily be interpreted as a sign of being a completely different species. Oversensitivity to touch is interpreted as an absence of feeling, an overwhlemed meltdown interpreted as an ill mannered child whoisalwaysspoilingthingsforeverybody and so on
The Delta Magazine I flip through has already been well thumbed by two Siblings on some earlier flight - Grant and Rachel
Like all children in the world, these two have not been able to resist the urge to decorate the pictures.–bare necks have had necklaces adorned on them , moustaches have been drawn on the men, glasses have been created, feature have been outlined . The image of James Bond on Quantum of Solace has been turned into a devilish creature complete with horns and blood dripping from his eyes
Like our ancestors from the past – Grant has wanted to show that he was here.
He has marked his flight path on the maps showing the Delta routes – marked it so deeply in fact with a pen that the paper is quite worn out.
Grant is traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Des Moines, Iowa with a stop over in Atlanta
He is also clearly a Sponge Bob fan – who he has drawn and shown as traveling from South Africa all the way to Atlanta in a plane ( traveling at high speed as demonstrated by the many billows of smoke emanating )
His sister has written on the top of the page of Grant's careful drawings - Grant is a Dork
Being a dork is a BIG insult I think as she has also designed something like this DORKSTAMP that she has placed on the forehead of many of the pictures
Grant has had the last word however .
He has crossed out Dork and put in "Good Kid"
Bullies are not the sole burden for Autistic children. Grant is facing them, as will R
And what I want, is not to protect R from people who will call him a Dork (or worse )
But nurture my son , like Grant's mom has nurtured him clearly.
So R knows and can say back.
R is not a Dork. R is a good kid.