This morning, I walked into the donut shop with my 11 year old son.  He loves to stop before school and get cinnamon rolls.  If you know me, you probably know that Jordan is autistic.  Most people don’t know exactly what his diagnosis is, they just know that he is different.  He is very different, but he’s also an 11 year old boy attempting to learn the world.  He’s never been very social, but this year he’s been trying to come out of his shell.  Because he lacks social skills, he mimics the behaviors of others.  When we entered the shop, he immediately recognized a boy around his age and height. He approached the boy and extended his hand, saying, “What’s up, man?”  The boy turned away from him with the meanest frown I had ever witnessed.  I was hurt, but I just called him over to me in an effort to return his excitement to donuts.  I doubt that he thought anymore about the ideal.  I had also forgotten about it until I arrived to pick him up from school.  After we left his classroom, the halls were flooded with children.  He was overly excited about his school week being complete and I imagine he was trying to say goodbye to as many students as he could.   Some students replied with “Bye, Jordan.”  Other kept on about their business. That didn’t’ discourage him though.  He tapped one little girl on her shoulder and said goodbye.  She turned around as though he was a monster and yelled “don’t touch me.”  He had a puzzled look on his face, but he still managed to continue with his good-byes.  His response to the cold-shoulders and evil stares of the world is always priceless.  He never lets the attitudes of others deter him.  Sometimes, he makes me wish I had a taste of autism.  As the mother of three children, it hurts.  It’s hard to teach them to treat everyone equally when the world shuns them because of their differences daily.  It’s getting harder to tell Jordan that he is just like all the other boys when the other boys reject him because he is unlike them.  I want my kids to have positive views of the world, but when the world is not welcoming, it hurts me as their parent.  I had a discussion with a teacher who told me that sometimes it’s Jordan’s own fault when kids mistreat him.  I would hardly agree that he is at fault for being born with autism.  Maybe people feel as though he does not deserve to have friends, to be accepted, or to interact with others because he is autistic.  However, I believe he has the right to do so because he is human.  He’s a little boy, just like every other little boy in the world.  He laughs, he cries, he plays, he sleeps, he eats, drinks, and looks for ways of entertaining himself just like every other little boy in the world.  But because he has difficulties communicating, expressing his feelings, and understanding moods, body language, and nonverbal gestures, the world is quick to forget that he is just a little boy.

Anonymous
Parents
  • There's some excellent free visual tools you might consider using on www.victoriesnautism.com  The one called Who Am I can be modified to do the circle exercise I mentioned previously . Hope that helps and sorry it took me awhile before I found something suitable for you. kris

Comment
  • There's some excellent free visual tools you might consider using on www.victoriesnautism.com  The one called Who Am I can be modified to do the circle exercise I mentioned previously . Hope that helps and sorry it took me awhile before I found something suitable for you. kris

Children
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