My realization recently, is that my son’s diagnosis helps me adjust my perspective. I’m not stressing as much when he’s “not normal,” it’s not as upsetting that he needs extra help. I’m focusing on how grateful I am that he functions so well.
We went to a crazy restaurant Friday night. It’s an all-you-can-eat Italian place. There aren’t long lines to look at all the food, there’s stations, with different types of foods, and piles of plates, you just dive in and serve yourself what you want. There are big, fake trees throughout, with tables underneath. Tables all crowded in close, and people, people, people everywhere! It was loud and chaotic.
This was NOT a place for my blind husband! Normally at a buffet, we could go through the line together and he could tell me what he wants, and hold the extra plate. Not here! I mean, I had difficulty navigating it all. So he was in charge of guarding the table and I guessed at picking out food for him. At one point, I realized I had forgotten to get spoons for the tiramisu, and I noticed that there were spoons just across the aisle from us. I stood up at the table, and simply stood there and waited for the traffic to die down. It was like crossing a highway!
Both of my kids LOVED IT! I’m so excited by this! Because I know there are so many ASD kids who would not cope with this environment. The noise, the lights, the crowd, and unfamiliar food to boot! But mine did great.
The only thing he was a little nervous about was getting a dessert crepe, and there was a line for that station. So I went and stood in line with him and discussed the choices. I warned him that there could be bananas and strawberry sauce (bananas literally can make him throw up, and he just thinks strawberries are gross) and explained that he didn’t have to choose those things. I read the sign to him so he knew his choices; he’s reading better, but this was all in cursive. Before he even got to the head of the line, he said, “It’s okay, Mom, I’m good!” And he proudly came back to the table with his crepe with caramel, chocolate, and vanilla sauce on top, and creme in the middle.
Sometimes I feel like he’s almost a different kid in public.
Both kids happily explored the restaurant and I’m so proud that both of them can behave in public AND be polite. I really am blessed.