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It’s the little things that shine the brightest

September 12, 2013

In the last couple of weeks there have been some pretty heart-wrenching stories concerning Autism families….   I’m sure everyone remembers the horrific, disgusting, awful letter that was written to the family of an Autistic boy.  It has haunted me since I read it.

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The story about this hateful letter

I have joked that we have the loudest house on the block.  I joke, but it is actually the God’s honest truth.  When my son has a meltdown he can be louder than a jack hammer and Jumbo Jet combined.  I know our neighbors have heard this and I’m sure they have been annoyed at times.  Maybe this is why the story of this letter struck me in the heart.  Thankfully I haven’t run into these issues in our neighborhood.

Then there is the story of the mother that tried to kill herself and her autistic daughter

Autistic teen improving after her mother tried to kill her in murder-suicide attempt

Strangely, I read this mother’s blog The Status Woe early in the morning on the day this event happened. I was really taken with her story about what she was trying to do for her daughter, and the road blocks in their way…..When I heard what this mother did later that afternoon, I was haunted and sick to my stomach.  I in no way condone what she did.  There is always help.. there is always a way.. but it really hearkens to the fact that Autism families can feel overwhelmed, stressed, alone, and  at the end of their ropes…   Sometimes it’s so much to bare on your shoulders you feel like you could just break.  Then lovely pieces of humanity shine through…..

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Mystery diner pays for meal

Riley, who has special needs, began to get “a little rowdy.” He started hitting the table, making noise and attracting attention from other diners. England felt embarrassed   “The past few weeks have been very hard and trying for us, especially with public outings”……  Suddenly, a waitress appeared at their table and told them, through tears, that another customer had paid their bill and left them a note: “God only gives special children to special people.” The message made England cry and feel more “blessed” than the person who left it could know. “To have someone do that small act toward us shows that some people absolutely understand what we are going through and how hard it is to face the public sometimes,

This story made me cry the first time I read it.  There have been so many times we have had to hurry and leave a restaurant or store because of the looks we get.  We dont’ feel welcome.  This was a such a wonderful gesture that it gave me hope to try going out to eat again.  We did ~with a few little issues~, but we tried!  And we will try again.   Which brings me to our own personal bright moment….

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We went to a family dinner for my father’s birthday,  a Japanese steak house where they cook everything in the center of the table.  AND have fire and onion volcanoes… My son started to become overwhelmed and agitated over the fire.  He was scared.  The chef put down his utensils and told my son that he wouldn’t do any “fire” until he felt ready for it.  He said “I will tell you and I won’t make it big”.  Then he asked him if he wanted to come up and cook for everyone.  My son was TRILLED  jumped up and “cooked” for a bit.  Just that little interaction made the biggest difference in our  night.  He loved the rest of the show, including the onion volcano.  I’m not sure if our chef really knew what an impact he made, but it’s something I will never forget.

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It really is the little things that mean so much.  The sweet smiles I get from some mom’s, or dad’s or grandparents when they see me dealing with a meltdown.  The kind words I received from a complete stranger; she thought I was doing such a great job as a mom when she overheard me trying to control the beginning of a meltdown (in fact she put her arm around me and hugged me a bit) .  A complement about what a “great kid” my son is from the clerk at the store.   It’s those bright little lights we need to hang onto when times are tough,  and we don’t know what to do. All those little bright lights can add up.  Always hang on…

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