What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What makes you angry?
Can something that’s exciting also be terrifying? Yes! Think of a roller coaster!
Our son started high school this year. One day recently I was sitting in the car waiting for him to come out and I saw a student in a wheelchair. He was waiting patiently as he did every day for his bus to come. He was with his educational assistant and she was talking to him. I’m not sure if he was talking as well because I was too far away, but you could tell from her mannerisms that she was very kind. She appeared to be treating him as she would her own child. This kind of brought tears to my eyes because you don’t always see this with people who have an exceptionality.
It actually made me feel proud to be part of such a caring community.
It was very clear that this student had a physical impairment because he was in a wheelchair. For a brief moment, I felt bad for him, but only for a moment because I could also see the “person” and he was very happy!
I wondered to myself if that was the way that others looked at me when they realized that my child has autism.
Are they scared of it? Do they naturally turn away because they don’t know what to do or say?
Do they feel empathy for me? Perhaps even sympathy? I really don’t know. I don’t spend too much time thinking about it because I don’t care.
Each moment that I am given with my son is a treasured gift and when we are not together, I count the moments when we will be again. That’s how connected we are to each other. It’s not like any other relationship I have in my life.
There is another student that comes out smiling every day. I know that he must have some challenges because he also comes out with an EA, but I never think about this when I see him. I look forward to seeing his smile as he gets on his bus. In fact, his smile is infectious! I want to smile every time I see him. He doesn’t even know that he makes my day a little bit brighter!
You see it’s all in the way you look at it, isn’t it?
We can feel bad or we can choose to feel good.
I am extremely grateful for people with “different” abilities. I choose to use the word ability because we all have abilities. Some are just different than others. We can all learn from each other. In fact, our son has taught me so many things and I am so grateful that I’ve experienced them even though sometimes there can be difficulty.
I also choose to never say that he “can’t” do something. Because the truth is that he can do anything he puts his mind to. Perhaps the approach he takes varies from others or that the amount of steps it takes for him to get there may be more or perhaps different from others. When he achieves what he sets out to do, it is an accomplishment. He is satisfied and happy. You see, it’s all in the way you look at it!
I encourage you to look at things through a different lens than you normally do. You never know how great it will make you feel!