Yesterday Reuben’s mom got married. She wanted all of her grand kids in the wedding and Mateo was a ring-bearer. I have found the easiest thing to do is not set anyone up for expectations. Asking him to be in a strange place, with people he doesn’t know and being the center of attention is pretty much the worst possible scenario for a kid with Autism.
I told her after the rehearsal on Friday, “there is a good chance he’s not going to do this.” She said, “that’s ok”. I sighed with relief. No pressure. What a wonderful Grandma, although she wanted him to walk down the aisle and be part of the photos, she didn’t put any pressure on him.
He carried a mask and snorkel around the day of the rehearsal and wedding. People asked-” is he waiting for a flood? hahaha!”, It was his comfort item for the weekend. I never know what it’s going to be. But I embrace whatever it is, and let him have fun with it. I just smile go along with people who crack jokes about it. Sometimes I want to educate the world, and sometimes I just want to let it go.
He walked down the aisle during the rehearsal after much coaxing. But when the day of the wedding came, and the kids were lining up. He broke down. He clung to my leg. Tears welled in his eyes. He pointed to the car to escape. I told him, “It’s ok Mateo, you don’t have to go, we will just watch from here.” He held on to me with all of his strength.
During the reception many of the other kids were running around wild, not listening or responding to the adults. But Mateo was very well behaved. Reuben told a couple of people that Mateo has Autism, and they were shocked. They would say, “he is such a good kid”. There are so many misconceptions out there. Mateo’s brain is wired differently. He sees the world in a different way. Doesn’t mean he is going to misbehave or cause trouble, although he is a kid and will do his share of causing trouble. I hope that as Autism is getting a lot more focus and attention, that people will begin to understand each person is effected differently because people are all different.
I was so proud of both of my kids, they were so well behaved and I feel so thankful to have such amazing kids.