Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Autism Answer: What I saw in the Moment

"Mom," Declyn spoke softly, standing at my bedroom door. "I know you are tired, but I think you will want to come share this moment with us."

And with those words, crackling with twelve-year old puberty straight into my heart, the moment began!

I headed with him into our TV room, where my fifteen year old son was already watching a DVD. I could hear the laughter and music of the home video before I saw it, and was smiling from the sounds of my mom and my autistic brother's joy. On the screen my mom was prompting Dar to say the line 'Nice song'. He was in his twenties (making the video over ten years old!) and trying to learn language and other skills (including acting!) by creating movies with my mom and other volunteer helpers. 

For over an hour I watched adult men and women of all types join my mom and brother, wearing bunny ears and goofy hats and Santa suits. They pretended to be his girlfriend, or on an airplane or at a picnic or singing karaoke. In every mini-movie, my brother Dar was the star while my mother prompted and played. She would remind him of his line and everyone would wait with energetic silence while he tried and tried, until they would cheer with vigor at sounds that were so very close to the prompted word! 

What I saw in that moment were my youngest children cheering their uncle who was up on the screen. They were feeling a nostalgia for his sounds and missing him. They were recognizing some language and talking about how lucky my older two boys are, since they get to live in California with Uncle Dar. What I saw on the screen were people I didn't even know playing with passion, singing silly songs and having a blast. I saw my dad, who is no longer with us, cheering on my brother--whom he had only just begun to know when this filming was done. 

What I saw in every scene was my brother in the role of leader while my mom encouraged him to lead. 

What I saw in the moment that Declyn invited me to enjoy was pure happiness and fun. And while I watched it, I felt it. 

Don't ever forget the importance of your moments!! Make them fantastic, fun and inclusive!!! 

Hugs, smiles and love!!