The other day I was in a waiting room with Trenton and he was having a very rough time. I am sure many of you who are parents of children with autism understand how challenging waiting and being out in public can be!
Anyway, we were waiting in the waiting room at Riley's in Indianapolis. Sometimes Trenton can wait great with no problems. However, this particular morning, he was not able to wait.
We have fifteen minutes until his appointment time and time was moving at a snail's pace! Trenton was stomping his foot, crying, swinging his arms, and pulling me towards the door. Of course, the waiting room was full and people just kept on entering the room. I am always in fear that someone will pull out something that Trenton wants because I know what can happen and it is not good. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened:(
A lady walked in carrying her child in a car seat with an owl toy attached.
"Oh No!" I say to myself. "Why does it have to be an animal?!?!? NO. NO. NO! Not today. Not while he is in this mood"
I knew instantly that once Trenton saw it, it would grab his attention....and I was right.
"No, T-man. Not yours" I said over and over while pulling him away from this poor babies car seat.
Each time I pulled him away, his cries got louder. He grew more angry.
Then, another family walks in with a girl holding a stuffed animal.
"No!!!!" I scream in my head. "Not today. Please people, not today." I say to myself.
"Please NO NO NO don't look Trenton. Please don't look over there." I'm saying over and over and then it happened.
HE LOOKED OVER THERE!
Of course, he wanted the stuffed animal.
"No, T-man. Not yours" I said over and over while pulling him away from the little girl.
By this time he was in a meltdown. He was fussing, making his mad noises, hitting me, and getting more defiant by the moment.
I could feel all eyes on me. I don't look at anyone anymore. I don't care what people think or what they "think" is going on. I just simply don't look at people. I've had enough bad looks and comments flashed my way that I just simply don't bother to see what the people around are doing.
After all, we were at Riley's Hospital so most of the people there were there for some type of health issue or disability.
However, this particular moment in the waiting room turned out just a little brighter. While I was managing Trenton's meltdown and sweating through my clothes......a lady walked up to my mother and said, "I understand. I have a daughter with autism."
In that instant, this woman just made my day by a simple sentence! I didn't have to tell anyone that he had autism. I didn't have to wonder if this woman thought I was a bad parent, she simply understood and she wanted us to know that!
Next time you see a parent struggling with their child in public, I encourage you to simply ask the parent for help or let them know that you "understand". It made my day and I am sure it would make their day:)