Yesterday we went to a show generously sponsored by local businesses for special kids, their families and siblings. As we sat in the huge auditorium, the onslaught began. Palms sweating, knees jigging, head swivelling, he glanced all around. "Will it get very dark?" Will it get very loud?" ""Can I have my ear plugs now, all the noise is giving me a headache." It was the usual buzz when you get a large group of children and adults in a space. A constant hum with a few louder squeals, nothing intolerable for the average joe. He is not your average joe. So, ear plugs were handed over, questions were answered, hands were held, nerves were soothed. And then the show started. A magic show, and one well above average in performance. His glorious amber eyes lit up, darting, absorbing all, his hands applauded, his voice rang out in glee, his whole body jumped with excitement. Stress turned to joy. Pure ecstasy.
For the first time I witnessed him speechless after he asked for the magician's autograph in a voice hushed and echoing with reverence.
But those moments in the build up once again pulled away the blinkers from my eyes and glaringly revealed the differences between him and so many others. It is at times like this all my dislike of autism rears up, and I hate what it does to my son. Then I feel ashamed, how can I loathe what is such an integral part of him, and brings so much good as well as bad?
The last words go to him (and me):
"I do not like new experiences, but I feel so stupid afterwards." I often do not like autism, my son, but when I look at what an incredible young man you are becoming, I feel so stupid afterwards.
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