Bigger Life Teaching Moments

So…. I have to tell you about the conversation about politics Steve and I got into this morning in the car. it started when he started calling the presidential candidate DT names, I think it was something like… he’s a stupid asshole who makes fun of people.  WOW… Umm…. Lets talk about this buddy!

It gave us a chance to have a discussion about how being kind to people is important even if they do not see things the same way we do, or would like them to. BIGGER LIFE TEACHING MOMENT, I kept telling myself while breathing deep cleansing breaths.

During the conversation, it twisted and turned as it often does with someone on the spectrum and we got onto the topic about race… I said to Steve… you DO know that there are people out there who do not like other people simply because they are black, right? His answer: No mommy, that was a LONG time ago. That’s over.

God Bless him… but yeah NO BUD, that’s still happening today.

Then I told him… there are people who absolutely will NOT vote for Hillary simply because she is a WOMAN.

MOM, now you are just LYING.

Then I said… there are police officers shooting black people,  there are black people shooting police officers, there are terrorists from other countries killing Americans and there are American’s hurting people here and in other countries just because they can’t see life from the other’s perspective.

WHOOOOOAAAAA mom… you just gotta stop. JUST STOP MOM. JUST STOP!

**mind**blown**  

Then I reminded him just before he got out of the car… just remember bug, KINDNESS COSTS NOTHING… be kind to everyone including those who disagree with you. Kindness costs nothing. I will say these three words until I am blue in the face… KINDNESS…. COSTS… NOTHING!

Now, I sit… and wonder…….. how long before I get an email from a teacher about the lessons HE taught everyone at school today.

Just now, I checked the behavior tracking app….  it is 2:34 and he has 100% at school today.

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Empathy

Last night my son and I decided we should go spend some time with his puppy at his dad’s house. The puppy had been home most of the day alone for a multitude of reasons that don’t matter to the story. So off Steve and I went for yet another meal out this week to have dinner with the pup. 

The pup while playing outside must have either eaten or got bit be a bee and she started swelling up. While I was starting to kind of freak out a bit realizing that I am going to have to 1) find an emergency vet 2) take Steve with me and 3) his Dad has no chance in hell of helping in anyway since he is at the UCLA game with our daughter. 

At first Steve had trouble helping me. The puppy DID look “creepy weird” as he said. She did. Period. But I guess my sense of urgency got through and he snapped into “do what mom needs mode.” Did he go anywhere near the dog, no. Was I able to rant out commands and have him follow along, yes! 

Steve, put on your shoes. Steve, grab my purse. Steve, lock the door. Steve, unlock the car. Steve, buckle up and hold her tight. 

Once at the doctor he leans over and kisses his puppy as they are about to take her back. “I love you puppy,” he says. 

While waiting, he realizes the UCLA game is on the TV. He connects. He knows his dad is THERE. He knows he can’t be here, if he is THERE. He calms more staring at the screen. 

When he asks if he can use my phone to play, I had to say no. Something I NEVER would have even thought of doing even a year ago in a situation such as this. My battery was at 23 % I needed to save it for the moment I could reach his dad. I said No. He said ok,turned and stared at the game on TV. 

Another dog soon came out and was slowly meandering his way around the waiting room. A pug who may as well had been a baby pig, so short compact and round. Steve starts to run over. About to stop him, Steve stopped himself and looked up at the owner and said, “I am sure he is sick or he wouldn’t be here, would it be ok if I pet him?” Wait… Whaaaaaaaat? Is that…. EMPATHY????

Steve sat and played with the dog, Pumpkin. Never taking my eyes off him standing over him for the split second thought of a mean move… Steve just kindly, gently rubbed Pumpkins back. Then I hear Steve, so why is he here? Our dog, well my dog and my sisters dog, this is my mom but she doesn’t live at dads house anymore so it’s really OUR dog but mom helps out with her sometimes….. I just dropped into the chair, yep….that’s my Steve. 

In came another dog after Pumpkins departure and again I hear, I know he’s not well or he wouldn’t be here do you know why MY dog is here….and another, and another and another. 

We were there for a couple of hours time and  time again, Steve floored me.  Always supportive to the animal. Always kind to the owner, asking permission before petting. Always wondering and asking if his puppy is okay. 

So… Whoever says autistic people have no empathy… They can kiss my ass!!!

My little man was one of the kindest most empathetic and supportive people in the world last night, especially to his incredibly scared mother. 

~me

I am PUSHY

Yesterday a break down happened at Steve’s daycare. Well, was it REALLY yesterday or has it been going on non-stop since he was 6 years old and I just found the time and the strength, knowledge and vocabulary to discuss it? 

We have worked very hard with Steve over the years. Pushing him to do things he didn’t want to do. Pushing him to do things he didn’t think he would like to do. Pushing him out of his comfort zone… time and time again. Everything from trying to use a cup instead of a bottle to playing soccer among his peers. You name it, we’ve tried it. 

IT IS NOT ALWAYS RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS PEOPLE. 

But we try. 

You see, we try these things to prepare Steve for the real world. Like it or not, I will not always be here for him. I can’t tell the future so as I do with my neurotypical child, I prepare him the best I can to be the best that HE can be. Do I know what that looks like? No. Do I know what occupation he will be attempting? No. Do I care? NO!  So… I push. 

I AM PUSHY.

So… clearly you say, there must be a point to this. Yes. I have pushed my kid to be inclusive. To NOT stay in the shadows. To not play alone under the bleachers by my feet but to play in the park where all the other kids are. To get out there and run on the soccer field with his peers, even if he isn’t always in the exact right position all the time. To be a PART of society. To find that there is something out there bigger than just ourselves. Join in, and most importantly, do not be afraid to try new things. Sometimes it works out (the California Screaming Roller Coaster at California Adventure park in California)  and some times it may not (taking a bite of calamari – I get it bud… I think its nasty too). 

So yesterday while in daycare, the daycare woman said to Steve, “look, sometimes when people see other people struggling they like to kick them harder. It a bummer, so just come in with a smile on your face and just go off to be alone if you need to, but never let them see you upset,” I LOST IT. 

I’m sorry, I said… did you just tell him to exclude himself from the rest of the daycare? How about you instead talk to the rest of your class, how about you talk to them about not making fun of people who are different than them. How about you talk to them about INCLUSIVENESS instead of expecting my son to just “deal” with being excluded. How about you teach them that KINDNESS COSTS NOTHING but being rude to a classmate because he may have more sensitivities than you is wrong.  Yes Steve, we can go HOME now. 

8 months… we have 8 months left with this provider before Steve moves up to middle school (which in and of itself is already about to kill me). 

INCLUSIVENESS!

Please teach inclusiveness – whether it be the color of your skin, your neurobiology, your love for one kind of person for another, your hair color, or height for example. 

 

KINDNESS COSTS NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~me