Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Autism Boy

Tomorrow is our yearly review of Sean's progress.  He's been in the special early class for a little bit under a year now, and his teacher, who is amazing & wonderful (all three of the teachers in his class are) called me this morning to give me a head's up as to what we'd do tomorrow.  She tested him this morning to have benchmarks, and apparently on a big number of things, he is doing amazingly well.  It's very good to see real progress.  I know it, but sometimes when you know something as a parent at home, it doesn't reflect at the school.  So that's the good parts.  It is VERY exciting that he is doing as well as he is.

Then, this week, when we were in San Antonio, we were at a restaurant/bar that has this kid's play area.  Sean & Maia & one of our friend's daughters were playing outside, where we could all see them through the windows.  Sean is generally a very sweet boy; when he IS aggressive or something, there's usually a really good reason for it.  He pushes back when people push at him, in other words, but he doesn't usually instigate problems.  (I can see that he might; I'm not saying he's a perfect angel or anything). This is the main reason why I felt fine about letting them play outside while we were watching not right on top of them.

But something happened with this other, younger kid.  I don't know what it was; one of my friends was there and Sean had bumped her daughter, and the other kid had started crying around the same time.  Then, this group of people brought their daughter inside.  Did they say something to me?  No.  They just sat at their table and complained loudly, and looked pointedly at our table like we should know something.  Well, I couldn't see EVERYthing that happened, so I didn't know, but I had my guess that somehow, something had happened.  If they had said something, I would have tried to make it right. 

So I knew they were talking about us, and Sean, and I pointedly apologized, told them that he's usually a good kid, but that he has autism and sometimes he can get into trouble when he doesn't understand something.  The mom of the group sort of waved at me and said something like "that explains it" and seemed to accept my explanation.  But then the whole group of them left, and seemed agitated still, as though we were those clueless folks who did something terrible to their kid. I was sort of confused.

Look.  It's not that I think Sean's autism excuses seriously bad behavior.  And I DO watch him as carefully as I can, and if I had thought there would be a problem I would have been out there.  I wish the woman would have explained to me what happened so I could understand it better. 

We're trying.  Super hard, to make him understand, to make him be the sweet wonderful kid I know he is, I know he can be.  But as I have said before, why can't we give each other (parents) a freakin' break sometimes?  Figure that it's not necessarily neglect and cluelessness but that there is something, a variable, that you don't know. 

Anyway.  One step forward, one step back.  At least we're mostly breaking even around here.


Televerus phillipines said...

Having an autistic child is not easy,you need to be more patient in taking good care of him..I have a nephew who is autistic so i know what it feels especially when you see some progress to the child...
restaurant wells me

Kathryn Usher said...

Or you need me to be the bad cop... next time this happens when you're in the SB Land area... let me know and I'm come over and totally eat their lunch... I'll just pretend I'm an innocent bystander and am completely offended by their unschooled behavior (I'm related to two folks with special needs and I'm tired of being nice to stupid folks).