In our journey with autism, it isn’t often that we know when we do something right. When verbal communication is intermittent and the words that come from Aiden are often quotes from movies, having breakthrough moments when we really get to hear what he is feeling is a rare and great thing. This weekend, we had the opportunity to experience moments like these- and grandpa was there to experience it all!
We had no idea he was interested in such things. It is not a part of our household culture, but after watching him pace back and forth in front of a poster in a lobby and seeing his reaction to a commercial on TV, we decided to give it a shot. Everything about this event should have sent him into a fit. The noise, the crowd, the lights- all triggers to sensory overload- were going to be firing on all cylinders. We knew it was an expensive risk and that the adventure might end before it had a chance to begin, but off we went to give it our best shot.
Moments after the first event ended, I anticipated hearing the familiar sounds signaling our need to immediately leave. Instead, he simply lowered his earphones, looked at me, and said “wow dad, this is amazing!” followed by “I am so proud of you.”
That was the beginning of great conversation with him that lasted the entire day. While today we are back to a sense of normalcy, this is a day that won’t be forgotten.
Thank you Monster Jam and his new found attraction to El Toro Loco. You provided an avenue into my son’s life. While I still don’t understand his attraction to this event, you’ve gained two new fans.
As Christ followers, we are called to be a light in a dark world. We are called to help bring clarity to a world that is covered in a fog of confusion, selfishness, greed, and disappointment. We are called to help people navigate this journey on earth is such a way that they can see dangerous obstacles ahead in enough time for them to go around them and not have to find them AFTER a collision happens.
I wonder how well we’re doing that? I wonder how many of us insist on going everywhere with our bright lights blazing- even when conditions are foggy. You see, not all light is useful light. Sometimes light can be blinding and cause more harm than good. Sometimes situations call for a specialized type of light to be used to get the job done. This is a light that is carefully placed and not wielded around aimlessly without care for what is headed your way.
Just like when driving a car in dense fog, a certain level of maturity is required to know when to use the different types of lights available to you… and while you CAN learn by trial and error, it is often better (and much less dangerous) to study a bit before you go out and flip the high-beams on.
Next time you are in a situation where people are having a difficult time seeing, maybe the right approach isn’t to give them all of your educated opinion on the topic at hand. Yes- you might be bright, but at what expense? Maybe it would be good to give the fog lights a try and see if you all make it out alive and a bit less stressed.
Just my thoughts…
Matthew 10:16 (NIV)
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”