Monday, October 14, 2013

Autism Answer: Spreading Awareness by Being You!

I got pulled over about a year ago because my adorable sensory issued rug-rat (the one in Autism Answers profile pic) has a strong need to wrap his fingers in my ponytail after a long and socially exhausting day at school. I throw my hair over the back of my seat while he reaches forward and talks and talks about his day, wrapping his fingers in--and knotting!-- my hair. From outside of the car it looks like he isn't buckled. 

So, I got pulled over. And though I didn't get a ticket, you should have seen us trying to explain the situation to the very young police officer!! We chatted about sensory issues and safety, and my son promised to sit farther back in his seat. 

It was a great experience for all of us. The police officer was happy to be greeted with smiles and enjoyed my son's chatty autism chat, I got to example talking with kindness rather than fear or distaste to a police officer, and my son learned that it's okay to need my ponytail, but that it would also mean he stands out and may have to explain it.

The memory is wonderful, because we had been comfortably ourselves. Had I been afraid or angry, I would likely have offered very different lessons. And they would likely not have been very accepting or kind lessons.

I like to remember this autism awareness pull-over because it reminds me that even if you feel your voice is small, or your ideas are not being heard, they always are. If only by being comfortably yourself, you are saying something and it is being heard by your loved ones, your community, and yourself.

Also, when you are comfortable about who you are and you're not wasting space in your brain with worries of judgments, or judging-back-at-ya's, then there is more room to hear others and example acceptance!

It's a win/win!

Hugs, smiles and love!!