Monday, May 27, 2013

Autism Answer: On loving the autism outing!!

Spending the day at the zoo with my boys is guaranteed to challenge, surprise and exhaust us. What fun!! After a trip not too long ago, I wrote this:

When we first got there I spent a surprising amount of time reminding everyone about appropriate public behavior and language. Then it was the boys turn to roll their eyes and remind me that counting the strangely large number of testicles on the male lion may not be appropriate. Later, some of us sat back and giggled as Shay asked the gift shop employees questions ranging from 'why are the alligators just laying there' to 'how often are you allowed to go to the restroom when you're supposed to be working?' My youngest, Declyn, who struggles intensely with crowds, did an amazing job of suggesting we go home constantly rather than just running to the exit while accusing me of not loving him. We hung out at the mall afterward where my teenage son bought himself the coolest tie; it has a man running from zombies on it. We got home in great moods with laughter (and not zombies!) following us loudly in the door. 

There were probably a few folks pointing and staring at my obnoxious, question asking, testicle counting crew--but I was so busy having fun and looking at us too, that I never noticed!!

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Not every single outing is filled with such comfortable fun, but ever single outing is filled with opportunities to learn and teach and encourage others to be comfortable with us. I try hard not to shy away from the autism outing, but rather choose to love it!! 

My brothers would have been better off had I learned this sooner, but what matters most is that I did learn it and that I share it and show it to my kids. My boys have many fabulous autism outing stories to share from adventures with their uncles! As a matter of fact, one of my sons did a whole series of Autism Answers on my Facebook page about them!! 

So love the autism outing (while respecting the challenge for the autistic loved one!) so that you and your family and your community can be forever blessed with the gift of each other!

Hugs, smiles and love friends!!!!!