Friday, May 1, 2009

Thank you!


Autism Awareness Month has come to an end. For so many of us, every month is "autism awareness" month because it is just part of our everyday lives. I appreciate everyone who shared links with me and my readers this month! It was great to read your stories, your suggestions, your thoughts on autism, and to "meet" your families.

Thanks for helping to promote awareness of autism and sensory issues. It makes a difference. Here's a story I read recently from Laura Shumaker, a mom of 3 boys including a 22-yr-old with autism. The kindness of strangers in this experience just made me smile:

"May I help you?" said a young agent at the U.S. Air counter cheerfully. Then she saw Matthew hiding behind me, rocking and mumbling United is friendly. US Air is not.

"We're having a Rain Man moment," I said, thinking this was the best way to get to the point. It was clear that the agent had no idea what I was talking about. She was in kindergarten when the movie came out.

"He's autistic," I mumbled under my breath "and he has a thing about flying United."

The agent looked confused and a little nervous, as did the folks in line behind us.

"It's a communication disorder. He's quirky. He gets stuck on things…" She nodded, glancing at Matthew sideways with an amused look on her face. She got it. I could stop babbling.

"So…how can I help?"

"We'd just like to trade our tickets in for United tickets," I said, winking wildly.

The agent paused for a moment, glancing back and forth between Matthew and me. I could tell she was getting into the spirit of things.

"Oh! Well, don't worry, because U.S. Air and United are the same now…really. We merged we're the same airline now. We just haven't changed the signs yet."

"That's right," chimed in a grandfatherly type in line behind us. "And the skies are still friendly." I felt a lump of gratitude rise in my throat.

Matthew looked suspicious, but went along with the story, and began to breathe normally. I gave the U.S. Air agent a hug - it's amazing how many strangers you hug when you have an autistic son, and took off for the gate.

I thought back to the day I saw the movie. Little did I know what was ahead, and what joy and warmth this Rain Man moment would bring. Little did I know how rich I would feel in moments like these, when I would see beauty in people that might otherwise be invisible to me.







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1 comments:

Julie on May 4, 2009 at 5:34 PM said...

I love that story!!!

 

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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.

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