I was blown away the other day by my conversation with a typical eight-year-old girl.
I’m a member of a local gym, and I also work part time in their babysitting room.
I was working the other day. I had my son with me because his father was golfing. (It’s okay for me to have my son with me at this job.)
I was looking after three kids.
One of the kids was an eight-year-old girl. I know her mom from the babysitting room and we also both work out together in the weight room.
At one point, my son wanted to go outside the babysitting room in order to regulate his body. He wanted to walk around, shake his arms, and generally get his “wiggles” out. He does this kind of thing all the time. I told him it was okay.
The girl got curious and asked me where he going. I explained to her that that boy is my son, he’s here at work with me today, and sometimes he likes to go outside to get his wiggles out. His body just needs to get up and move around from time to time.
Then, this girl began to tell me about her friend who does a similar thing.
She said, “Well, he has aurtetism.”
I immediately corrected her and said, “Autism.”
She shook her head and said, “Yes, he has that. He gets frustrated sometimes. He’ll say to me that he just needs to go walk around. And, he does.
Sometimes, he gets mad real quick when something doesn’t work out. That’s when, I think, he’s different than the rest of us.”
“How do you think he’s different?” I asked.
“Well, it’s his autism. He’s sometimes cries, like, really quick when something doesn’t go right. I try to help him, but sometimes he just can’t help it because he’s different. When the other kids try to make fun of him, I tell them that ____ is different and that he’ll be okay. Don’t make fun of him just because he’s different.”
I think I smiled inside my head, and outwardly.
I talked with this eight-year-old for a few more minutes about autism. I told her that my son, who was walking around outside the room regulating his body, also had autism and that I understood exactly what she was saying.
I told her that I loved how she talked about her friend, and that he tried to help her friend. Especially, that she tried to tell her other friends that he was just different and that he’s okay.
I was stunned and so happy on the inside.
What a great kid and what a great attitude.
This girl had had experiences with an autism individual, and was handling it so well.
This conversation was a dream to me. This is how all of us Aut Parents desperately want each and every interaction with typical kids to look like.
Later on, when I met up with this girl’s mom, I had to tell the mom that she has a really great kid. I told her that she has the kind of attitude all parents want out of their kids, but more so because she’s a typical kid dealing so well with an autistic kid.
She’s outgoing, sensitive, and forward-thinking.
I told the mom that I not only complimented the girl, but I had to compliment her because I felt that this girl’s attitude had to come from somewhere.
Oh, to dream that one day everyone will have a similar attitude.
It’s a start that this eight-year-old thinks the way that she does. Hopefully, she’ll spread her attitude and awareness to more friends, and that it’ll expand and keep on expanding.
Maybe one day, my son will be understood and accepted by everyone.
A mom can dream.
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