“My Favorite Street Is Smiling”- Autism’s Unique Way of Viewing The World

Every once in awhile as mothers we have those moments. You know what I am talking about. All Moms have them. Your child does something so incredibly cute or thought provoking you say to yourself, I must remember this in some way, file this moment away to tell them the story at a future time. Exceptional Kids are no different in this way from neurotypical kids. They just have a different way of viewing the world and seeing things. This way, if we as their Exceptional Parents embrace it, can be the most beautiful thing in the world. At first though, when we are stuck at the stage of trying to make our child like everybody else, we are sad when they say what sounds to us like strange things. We notice this as just another one of their differences. But when we come to see our children as different in a good way, we embrace these kinds of things as being a part of who they are.

Michael, like many people with autism, loves objects. He always has and always will. Even human body parts fascinate him more than the whole person. Case in point, he used to love to squeeze my legs and now loves my neck saying it is warm like a spa and makes him relax. That is an interesting statement and very logical, to say the least. Well, as most people who know Michael know, he is VERY much into navigating and streets. He loves directions and he has one street in particular so much that he will look for places to go so that Dad and I have to take this street. No joke. A few weeks ago on one of our Saturday morning long walks, Michael asked me if he could hug his favorite street. I smiled and told him no, we could not hug a street, especially a busy one like this where cars are constantly on it. Yes, did I mention he loves super busy streets in general, particularly this boulevard? He nodded and no more was spoken of it. Then on this Saturday morning as we walked on the sidewalk of this very busy boulevard all of a sudden Michael spontaneously hugged a hydro electric  post and hugged it. It was the second best thing to hugging his favorite street since he could not hug the actual pavement. I told him that was sweet, but dangerous as it was a hydro pole. He did not want to get hurt. He said ok and we continued walking. He was more relaxed than before and had a smile on his face.

We continued walking this boulevard. Soon we would come to the street we would turn into to take us home. Michael all of a sudden blurted out, “Look Mommy, the boulevard is smiling!” I looked up confused, and saw what Michael meant. On one of the many hydro poles with wires hanging, this one ha the wires in a drop down half-circle or little hill format. It looked like a smile! Indeed, the boulevard was smiling! Incredible. This was something no other person would ever say and a totally different way of looking at a scene that never would have occurred to me. I smiled and thought, this is why autism is cool. It helps the rest of us see the world in a different way, and if we do not rush in to try and change how our child sees the world differently from us, we may learn something new. I agreed with Michael and told him how cool it was that he saw that. We finished the walk home.

Exceptional Parents, how many times have you tried to “fix” your Exceptional Child? Maybe it was something weird they said at a party, maybe it was them stimming in public and getting a weird look from people? Yes, there are social rules we all have to follow in society to get along and there will not always be people who are tolerant of differences. But where it counts and does not impact your child’s happiness and sense of self, let their uniqueness shine through and celebrate that. There are many challenges that come with autism that are real and frustrating for people with autism and their families. Help them with those of course. But don’t try to change who they are inside. How they see the world is such a beautiful and wonderful thing. Go along with them for the journey and you many learn something new about the world and yourself. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence towards their child.

For more information on my coaching services, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparentingg.com, and for a free 30 minute exploration/consultation session contact me at joanne@creatingexceptionalparenting.com. Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.

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