Monday, May 27, 2013

Good Days and Bad Days....

       The last few days have proven to be challenging and enjoyable at the same time. Saturday, we went to the local pool supplies store here in town to get a new ladder for the pool and some supplies. Our oldest son, who is verbal but still has some behaviors with his Autism, came with us and he was so excited about going and getting the stuff for the pool. He spoke with the young man in the store, they talked about Iron Man and he was so nice to Evan. He helped him even find some swimming goggles that were Iron Man. Evan was so excited about getting his goggles that he almost walked out of the store with them.
       I said, "Evan, remember you have to pay for them first." Evan then said, "Oh I forgot Mom, Okay." He then walked up to the counter and placed them there for the cashier to scan. I heard her say under her breath, "yes you still have to follow the rules!" in the most condesending way she could. I chose to be the better person and let it go. He kept trying to talk to her about all the cool stuff in the store. He was so excited. I was so happythat he wanted to engage with someone that he didn't know andthen it happened. He said "Hey girl, I see the shark over there!" he wanted to talk so much and her response was very unsettleing."You may refer to me as MAAM!" I honestly took everything I could to not slap her right in the face. I just said "you know what, I don't want to buy these goggles anymore. I expalined to her that he has Autism and all he is trying to talk to her. I then said to her that she didnt  have to make all those rude comments and be so nasty to him. Her response was quick "I didn't know! You should have said something!" I told her that she shouldn't treat any child like she did. It's terrible. I quickly took my son and left the store. My husband met us outside and was wondering why we didn't have the goggles. I said "you know what take Evan to the car I am going to complain to the manager."
          As he walked Evan to the truck, I was determined to make a complaint about this woman that obviously needed to learn about Autism. I saw the young man at the register, and asked him if the manager was in, he knew what it was about and said yes and it's the woman that I was talking to earlier. She is also the owner. Oh great! I decided to just to contact corporate offices and complain to them. She said wait a minute I will talk to you. She walked me outside. She said " You should have told me that he had problems. Listen my granddaughter has problems too. I feel sorry for her everyday. I asked her if she was serious in what she was saying. I explained to her that  I didnt t feel sorry for my son and why should I have to tell her that he has Autism.  Her response was what I would consider unrelenting by saying "how sad that you would wish this on your child!" I then said to her with some assertiveness I might add with some satisfaction. "HOLD ON...I would never wish this on my child or any child! But I prefer to be proud of my son and all that he has accomplished in spite of his Autism! If you chose to be ashamed of your granddaughter but I will never be ashamed of my son!" She said that she was not ashamed  and that she just feels the constant daily heartbreak for me as she is sure that you do for your son!" I told her that  I don't feel constant heartbreak for my son. I told her that her attitude is discusting  as I walked away.
         We went home, it broke my heart each time Evan asked about his Iron Man goggles. We got inside the house, I sat down and cried for a good hour. I didn't cry because I was ashamed, I am so proud that my son talked to them, and interacted without any discomfort at all. I was just so angry. Angry that she thinks it's okay to treat a child like that. Angry that she doesn't acknowledge the disability that her granddaughter has, only to say "problems". I have two sons that are amazing, smart, beautiful, funny, loving and have Autism. I am angry that people treat them like that. It just breaks my heart!
         Then today, we decided that we were going to take the boys to Build A Bear Workshop, Evan wanted the Patrick Star from Spongebob. Chris, he just loves to go. As we drove there, they both seemed so excited about going! Evan knew where we were going, Chris just was looking all over out the windows. We discussed, how the kids would react once we got there. We were concerned about Chris. His sensory processing disorder on top of Autism, makes it challenging to take him out. But we were determined to expose him to public places more and more. So off we go to get the bears and starfish.
        When we arrived in the parking lot, lots of cars were around. Chris looked around and began his little low whine. We knew he was getting nervous. Ed took Evan and walked ahead. I took Chris out of the car and we walked slowly towards the store. All the time telling him "it's okay baby it's okay!" And I heard him say "itsokay, itsokay". I held his hand and we walked inside Build A Bear. He whined, and we wander around the store. Evan has already found what he is looking for and excitedly speaking to the staff member Christina who is talking to him about what he wants with his Patrick Star. Chris, as expected didn't like the sound of the big machine in the back of the store so he returned to the front found the bench and sat quietly, patiently waiting for his brother to finish so we could leave. I could hear Evan talking to Christina about Spongebob and having a blast "stuffing" his Patrick. He was so proud of it. I hated missing that moment but luckily Daddy knew enough to record it for me! They all came up front and I paid for Patrick Star and Ed and Evan left the store. Chris continued to sit on the bench waiting for me to leave with him. Christina (amazing staff) said, "would you like to get this little guy one?" Me "Oh no, he doesn't like the sound of the big machine" Christina " he is more than welcome to take one of the displays. We don't mind!" So sweet of her, but he just wanted to leave. Next time, we will get him one. I promise!
      So lets review. Chris went into the store. Already a good thing. He walked all around the store. Good. He didn't scream or throw himself on the floor. Great! He sat on a bench and patiently waited for us to leave. Awesome! Progress! That is right! I count this as a major WIN for all of us!
       So proud of both of my little guys over the last few days. Well everyday but the last few days has been amazing and upsetting as I am sure you can understand by now. I love my boys! They are my life. I really love watching them progress and do all of these amazing things.

Evan and Chris      ONE....

Autism                   ZERO......

One very proud and happy Mommy! Until next time!!!!!!!!