When Your Autistic Kid Is Different: Is It Okay?
Our town held an Easter Egg party today. Of course, this being Boston, it’s snowing heavily, so the event was held inside. Hubby had offered to give me protected time so I could exercise and study, and I took that offer and ran with it. Literally, as he and the kids pulled out of the driveway, I went running.
I love running in inclement weather. I feel like a female Rocky Balboa. I had my high-energy music mix going, and I was running to the beat, feeling totally badass….
Then, Hubby called. “It’s not going so well,” he said, sounding defeated. Babyboy was refusing to even enter the hall where all the festivities were going on: face painting, arts and crafts, photos with the Easter Bunny. Instead, he was rolling around on the ground in the foyer. Some friends of ours who were there with their own child were watching Babygirl in the great hall, but Hubby felt bad about it.
I was about a mile and a half away… I suggested to Hubby that he grab some drawing paper and crayons and let Babyboy color in the hallway, and meantime, I ran over. I mean, I ran.
Yes, the place was loud and absolutely packed with families. With the heavy snowfall outside it felt like a crowded ski lodge on a school holiday weekend.
But, it wasn’t that big of a disaster. Babygirl and her little friend were having a great time; luckily, and thank God, his parents are good friends of ours and lovely people. Meantime, the ladies working the event in the foyer let Babyboy pick out a bunch of Easter eggs with prizes inside.
When Babygirl came out of the hall wearing cardboard ears and with her face painted bunny, Babyboy didn’t act sad. He wasn’t feeling left out. He got eggs with prizes.
When we left, Hubby said we should have known it wouldn’t go well for Babyboy, and maybe not brought him. My feeling was, he had an okay time, in his own way. So, he hung out in the foyer and did his own thing. He still left with eggs, and he didn’t seem upset.
We want him to become educated, employed, and a productive member of society. We want him to live up to his potential, and to be self-assured and happy.
Should we try harder to assimilate him, work towards more socialization, push his boundaries? If let him be on the periphery of parties, at the edges of events, will we be somehow stunting his development?
I believe we can only go so far with an autistic kid. He’s going to be different from most other kids. But if he’s happy, can we just let him be?
Interested to know what thoughts people have.