Mateo was curled in a ball, head on the floor waiting for his gymnastics coach to come over and give him a push to complete his somersault. When he started gymnastics in the summer he refused to try a somersault, now he patiently waited for his teacher to guide him through it. I smile and enjoy watching him following her instructions and right on track with his peers. He looks like all of the other children there, except for the excited stemming when he quickly pats the top of his head.
Two people in front of me are talking about Autism. The dad was saying his son is on the spectrum, talking about Occupational Therapy and how well his son is doing at school. The woman he’s talking to had been a therapist at one time, I am assuming ABA because she was talking a lot about Behavior therapy.
Many times I would join in the conversation, pop in and show support. But this day I just wasn’t feeling up to it, I just wanted to enjoy watching Mateo, and not think about his Autism. Just watching him jumping on the trampoline with a smile plastered on his face, like any other four-year-old would do. Sometimes it’s so much easier to just be a mom and live happily in the moment.
I think as advocates and mom’s always fighting for our kids we try to be there for everyone around us, try to help the world and we forget how to just relax and be happy and enjoy our kid being a kid. And it felt very good to just forget about Autism, and just be like any other ordinary mom watching from the bench.
And tomorrow would be another day and I would have plenty to say about Autism.
Today I received a call from a Mom who’s child is in the same school district and was looking for advice. And I really love calls like this, I love helping other people get the services their children deserve. I told her to put everything in writing, to use the term “least restrictive environment” as many times as she could and say, “my lawyer is advising me….” She told me how smart her son is, but they want to put him in a Special Ed school because his verbal isn’t strong enough. I told her to keep my number and keep fighting and let me know how it goes.
It feels so good to be there for other mom’s fighting the same fight. Together we can get there she said. Yes, together we can.