Okay, this blog has been sitting in my mind since Sunday morning. It makes me sad, so I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write it. Many of you know our sons are on the autism spectrum. Our eldest has a lot of sensory issues that we have worked hard to help him handle, and we really consider them gone considering where we have come from. Still, I guess we have created a safe environment for him, protecting him from the cruelty of many children. Those in our homeschool group are very understanding and accepting, and we don’t get out much because of the farm, so contact with public-school kids is rare. However, I often try to tell him that some of his behaviors will get him teased one day, but I don’t think it sunk in until Sunday.
Sunday we went to a new church. We had been going to a friendly church, but pastors changed and we didn’t really agree with enough of the doctrine to keep taking our children (who are still learning so much). This new church is full of friendly people, and we felt very welcome. I don’t think they have many children with special needs, though. We sent the children off to Sunday School without following them and cautioning everyone that they sometimes act a little different. I really want them to be able to stand on their own, but this was very hard. They came back after class, escorted by their very kind teacher. I asked Jameson what they learned, and in front of her he said “Nothing. We already know about Moses and the babies and all that stuff”. It was funny in a fashion knowing he is autistic, but I think it sort of shocked her for a moment.
Soon we went to sit for service. Jameson was going “funny” with sensory over-stimulation. He talked too loud, couldn’t stand his shoe, and covered his ears at the slightest sound and cowered in the pew. As the music started and people filed in, he turned to me and asked “Mom, why do the kids make fun of me?”. Wow. Nothing like throwing your mom for a loop. Of course I figured maybe he picked on someone, but asked him why they picked on him. He said “They teased me, saying na-na-na-nana, just because I couldn’t concentrate when they were talking! Why were they mean about it?”. Now, I understand why he was teased, it’s just that it’s never happened before. I mean, he isn’t “normal” when he yells or pounds the table in frustration, or covers his ears so quickly and shrinks away from the sound, or makes such violently angry faces when he doesn’t know what to do. He’s 8 now, too big for other kids to tolerate this. But what do you say to your child?!
It hurts. It hurts him when all he wants is a friend and he has no close ones. There are those that tolerate him, but that’s about all they do. It hurts me, to not be able to help him. There isn’t another person out there with as soft and caring a heart as this child, and yet he is teased because it’s hard for him to handle some things. Adults comment about how he talks and talks (asperger aspect of him). They just don’t “get it” unless you try to explain it, and that’s like your making excuses when all you want to do is help them understand. I know the world is a hard, cruel place. I know this is just the start as he grows and moves out of our protective circle and tries new things. I can only hope that he can have a good, solid base of acceptance and love and self-appreciation, self-respect, that he can carry with him to help hold him up when others don’t accept him. I have to hope that the meanness of a few won’t cause him to withdraw and hide. I can’t spare him, I have to let him grow, but it hurts. It hurts so bad.