Cheering for friends


We had a fun filled weekend of good times with friends .  Mateo really amazes me how he can play so well with Maya and her friends at times.  Sometimes he can be the typical “pesky brother”, but when you have a kid with Autism you are thrilled when they act typical, even if it drives you or your daughter crazy!

Here he is with one of his favorite girls!

A piggy back ride!

Yesterday I took the kids to help cheer on our friend Taryn who was running in a marathon! You should check out her blog sometime- she’s fabulous- hungryrunninglady.com. My husband was working, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have taken Mateo. Crowds like that really worry me, I am always afraid he will wander and get lost.  So I kept him by my side.

Every curb he walked past, he had to walk on. Which took walking around a few people, and some apologies from me since people would actually move so he could walk past.  He loves balancing on curbs, and it keeps him close and easy to find, so I don’t mind having to make a few apologies.

We were meeting another friend to help cheer on Taryn. So I was scanning the crowd. We stopped by some drums. Mateo was content listening to the drums and watching the runners.  Sometimes people would cheer for the runners and Mateo excitedly joined in.

Then we got a call from our friend we were meeting and she was further down the road so we went to meet her. The crowd began to thicken and there was an announcer announcing the bib numbers over loud-speakers.  The volume was about the same as the drums but the frequency really bothered Mateo. He covered his ears and his eyes got wide, I wasn’t sure if a meltdown was coming.  The crowd around him and the loud speaker were overwhelming.

We got away, to a spot where the people thinned out and you couldn’t hear the speaker anymore, and he was ok.  He was all better when we found our friends and we could cheer for the runners again.

But it just shows how adaptable he is.  If he walks on the curb, he can focus on his balance, not the crowd of faces around him.  If he hears the drumming, the beats keep him relaxed versus a voice over a loud speaker.  Many children with Autism could never be at an event like that, but Mateo finds a way to make it ok for himself.  And that gives me so much hope for him.

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4 Responses to Cheering for friends

  1. Eve Dineen says:

    I call those compensatory coping skills… so important for a kid like Mateo! And you are a great mommy for recognizing those behaviors as good instead of being embarrassed and trying to discourage them.

    • melmama says:

      Awwh thanks Eve! I am very impressed by his ability to handle situations where he is obviously having difficulty. Hope things are going well for you! How’s business? As Mateo gets older we are going to be tapering ABA, I would love to learn some things from you!!

    • Reuben Mendoza says:

      Eve, thanks for the tag words…compensatory coping skills. A lot of the time when I want more information I don’t know the correct words to look up. Having input from pros like you really helps out! 🙂

  2. Sheba says:

    Eve, thanks for the tag words…compensatory coping skills. A lot of the time when I want more information I don’t know the correct words to look up. Having input from pros like you really helps out!
    +1

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