No. My son has not been “cured” of Autism. But for one night, for one single solitary night I felt free from the constantly overwhelming disorder.
It was Autism Family Night at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic CT. We got into the Aquarium for free (thank you Pfizer and Mystic) and got to see two shows specially prepared with less sensory stimulation.
Almost instantly, I got chills and a huge smile came across my face as Jaylen:
started banging on glass tanks,
and yelling repeated phrases of other kids
I did NOT have to stop him.
He was free,
I was free,
There would be no yelling,
No apologies to other people,
And no embarrassment tonight.
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is freedom.
No where else, at no other time, is it acceptable for my guy to be who he is. It was the most amazing, liberating, and happy feeling.
Both my boys ran, yelled, and acted silly. And no one batted an eye.
I didn’t have to feel bad or sorry. I didn’t have to apologize to anyone because of their noise or running.
I didn’t have to explain to other parents why my son was doing what he was doing. He got in other kids faces, a recent issue we’ve been having, and no one cared. In fact, many other kids were doing it too. I didn’t have to explain why he repeated things other kids said or yelled when they yelled or apologize for it. Everyone understood.
It was also such an eye opener to see so many kids and adults all over the spectrum. Everyone is affected in different ways. But generally speaking, they all have issues that set them apart from the “norms” of society.
At one point my sister turned to me and said, “It’s just crazy to me that everyone else here, all these other parents, are dealing with the same things you are. You are all going through this daily. They are all going through what you do every day.”
And for some reason, that makes me cry. Each time I replay that thought, I cry.