Special occasions and autism

Special occasions:
Two years later than I planned, Jude was baptized. We decided on a whim it was time to get him baptized. Within a month, Jude was at the church for the Sunday baptism TheronTheron ceremony was short and sweet. There were four other children getting baptized that day. To my surprise, Gabriel was wearing the grey suit with the pink shirt and tie he had picked out. Jude was also wearing his black and green suit. The only hiccup was Gabriel NEEDING to take his shoes off to sit in the church (fine if that means no meltdowns).
This should have been a happy, beautiful day for us, but as always, it made me sad at the same time. After the commotion of the day, once the boys were in bed, I sat with my fiancé and we discussed the success of the day. It hit me at that point, the success of the day wasn't that our son had gotten baptized, it was that we had survived the ceremony without the boys making a scene and without having to tell the whole church that they were autistic children. Is this really what success is for them? Being under control for an hour defines a successful day. When did we decide our children were monsters that needed to be controlled while we were out?
Of course we don't think they are monsters, and even out of control, they aren't bad children. There is just a lack of understanding when it comes to inappropriate behavior in public. People judge the children as brats and the parents as inept even though every child has a time when they act out in public and I have seen far worse behaviors from typical children. The difference is, we expect the boys to act out in crowded places because it is stressful for them so we plan our trips around the times they are most equipped to handle the crowds and still expect lots of noise from them and good or bad attention from onlookers. That is what has brought us to the point where we judge our own success by what other people see. We want to feel like good parents. We want people to think our children are cute and well behaved and not just because they know the boys have autism.

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