EXACTLY! My son also shows similar expressions of love. If he gives a hug while facing you, he typically leans in and wants to touch his forehead to yours. It has been multiple years of him backing into us for a hug and he has just recently started reaching his arms around to hug us in a more typical manner. His expressions of love are unique, but I never doubt what they are.
I recently revisited a Temple Grandin TED talk,
The world needs all kinds of minds
, from February 2010. I have watched this before and my son and I even saw her speak on this topic at the local University. But, each time I watch it I get something new out of it. What really stuck out to me on this viewing was a question asked of her at the end. Speaking for parents, the moderator asked, “Is it unrealistic for them to hope or think that that child loves them, as some might, as most, wish?” The question crossed me as strange and I think, based on her expression it may have crossed Temple Grandin as strange too. She answered saying, “Well let me tell you, that child will be loyal, and if your house is burning down, they’re going to get you out of it.”
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.
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. In the blink of an eye the mundane can become the unusual. Predictability gives way to spontaneity. Your sense of control is lost and you are swept off of your feet. You have been thrown into an adventure that you could not have predicted or planned for and you find that you are just along for the ride. Sound like a good time? It could be the most exhilarating love story and you find that you are the star at the center of it, or it could be something a bit more like this:
We like to think about how we would respond to windfalls and other types of unexpected blessing…. but do we take time to plan for the worst?
I was in a car this morning- driving my wife to work- and rain poured from the sky unlike anything I’ve ever seen from behind the driver’s wheel. While driving under the overpass, what I thought was a normal puddle turned out to be anything but that. Steering our new car was not an option, and I was extremely glad to find dry ground on the other side without impact or injury.
It made me think about how glad I was that we just completed a very necessary evil last night. We updated our Last Will and Testament for both me and my wife last night. It is a process I hate doing, but with a child that has special needs this process is one of the most important things we can do to ensure his care is ensured in the event the worst happens.
I’ve seen what happens to families who try to figure out what the loved one would want in absence of a will- all while trying to get through the grieving process. May I encourage you to take time to show a last act of kindness for your loved ones? Don’t make them try to figure it out.
We used Legal Zoom. There are many ways to get this accomplished, but this was the right time/place/price for us. So, if you’re not sure where to start, that might be a good place for you begin.
“April is National Autism Awareness Month where we celebrate those in our lives that have autism by permanently showing our support by getting an autism themed tattoo.
Participating tattoo shops donate a portion of the tattoo cost to Autism Speaks or a local charity that provides autism services. The amount per tattoo is determined by the shop, not Ink4Autism. In the past two years shops have donated anywhere from $20 to 100% of the tattoo; again, totally up to the shop. Also, Ink4Autism does not receive any of the funds, rather they are donated to the local Autism Speaks office in that tattoo shops area or an autism charity of their choosing. To date, participating shops have raised over $25,000 in North America alone.
Last year over 130 tattoo shops participated, and in the past two years have inked over 450 autism themed tattoos. We have shops participating in Canada, the US, Australia, the United Kingdom, Romania, Norway and South Africa and we hope to do even better. We have been profiled in the March 2013 issue of Skin & Ink Magazine and the April 2013 issue of Inked Magazine.”