It happens a bunch of times throughout the year – a video will post of an autistic kid doing something amazing, being surrounded by really cool kids who give him/her a moment. I’ve watched two such videos this week. With both, I had the thought/prayer, “Lord, please put people in Little Man’s life who will be like this for him.” I watched another this morning, and had a completely different thought….what if he never does anything amazing? Sucker punch to the momma gut.
He doesn’t play sports. He has no interest in it. We stopped baseball four years ago, and soccer two years ago. He was reaching an age kids were just so much bigger and entirely more skilled. His safety became an issue. And it was more of a fight to get him through every practice and game than it was worth. So, no sports. He doesn’t even help with any teams, hardly pays attention to his siblings’ activities. He doesn’t play an instrument. Again, no interest. He enjoys music, if he gets to choose and when he chooses. His favorite activities involve his Legos, Minecraft, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and watching all his favorite YouTube-ers. There’s little opportunity for public moments with any of those things.
Where am I going with this? What do I want? I guess I want to know there will still be kids/teachers/coaches in his life who will still care about him enough to encourage him, create great moments acknowledging his effort and his struggle. He’s a hard kid. He’s hard to know. He can be hard to be around. He does have some awesome friends, and good golly am I thankful for them (and for their awesome, amazing, beyond-understanding parents). All I keep thinking is high school is coming in a few years. We’ve controlled his educational environment as much as possible to this point. Middle school would normally be the rude awakening, but we’ve avoided that with the school he is currently attending (more of an extended elementary school). High school will be the game changer, with all the potential for bullying you could ever terrify yourself. There are just so many kids, so many opportunities when adult eyes are not on him. Will he be bullied? Or will there be great kids who give him his moment? Will they even try to get him, or will they back away because he’s hard?
Can he still have his amazing, video-worthy moment? Will there be people in his life to help give him that, even if there are no sports, no music, no public opportunities to do so? He probably doesn’t even care, but it’s my need as his mom to really know people get him, and care about him and how he feels. I guess I just need to know there will be compassion for my sweet, difficult, amazing, beautiful child.