Trenton had his first "experience" with another child with autism and it was not a pretty one. As we were walking into ABA therapy, another boy who had autism was in the waiting room with his mom. This boy was approximately ten years old. He made a beeline for us immediately. I smiled and said hi. He replys back in his robotic voice, "What is his name?"
I say, "His name is Trenton."
Boys says, "Trenton. Trenton. Look what I have."
The boy is waving a dinosaur and a gorilla figurine he has in his hands in front of Trenton's face. I immediately smile and think to myself that that will be Trenton in 8 years. Still going to ABA with his "securities" in his hands.
"Why is Trenton not looking at me? Why is Trenton not talking?"
"Sometimes he just doesn't. It is hard for him." I say with a smile while thinking to myself how glad I am that Trenton is ignoring him because once he notices those figures, he will want them and will not want to give them back.
Trenton glances up and grabs his dinosaur and gorilla out of his hands.
Great, here we go I think to myself.
"Trenton Trenton those are mine. Can I have them back?"
Trenton lets out his "I am mad and you better step back boy" noise.
The boy's mom runs up and apologizes. I tell her that I am the last mom she needs to apology to because I COMPLETELY understand.
I force Trenton to give back the dinosaur and gorilla. The boy's mom tries to lead the boy to the front door. The boy keeps on looking at Trenton having a full blown autistic meltdown on the floor.
"Mom. Trenton needs my gorilla.", he says while throwing the gorilla at Trenton.
No not again I am thinking.
Trenton jumps up and grabs the gorilla but the gorilla isn't enough he wants the dinosaur. The boy breaks away from his mom and walks up to Trenton and says, "Hug me Trenton. Hug me Trenton." The boy extends his long arms out to Trenton. Trenton leans into him while he is screaming and lets the boy hug him while he grabs the dinosaur out of his hands.
"Trenton I need my dinosaur and gorilla."
I have had enough at this time. I grab the two figurines and gave them back to the boy. The boy's mom again leads him to the door. Once again, Trenton is having a meltdown on the floor.
"Mom, Trenton needs a dinosaur and a gorilla. We have to go to CVS and buy him them."
"Oh no, Trenton will be okay. Thank you for being so nice to him." I say kindly.
" Mom I am not going home until we go to CVS and get Trenton a gorilla and dinosaur."
The boy's mom gives me a look like she has had a very rough day. I smile at her. She rolls her eyes and says, "I will have to go to CVS before we go home. If not, he will not be happy for the rest of the day"
"Oh I understand but please don't buy Trenton anything. He will be okay."
As the mother/son team were walking out the door, the boy throws Trenton his gorilla and tells him to give it to him next time.
Sometimes if you don't look back and smile at what living with autism is like, you will go completely nuts!