Stanley. By the look on his face here, you would never guess what sort of a day he’s had. It has been so tough, and I am sure that we are both more than ready for it to be over. We had a wonderful morning with friends, but it soon went downhill after a couple of hours. Stanley had a meltdown, and he has since been on edge all afternoon. I must say, we couldn’t have been in any nicer, more understanding, company this morning. It is so refreshing to speak to someone who not only listens, but understands Stanley. Someone who believes us. Someone who can see that Stanley is struggling to cope in certain situations, and someone that goes out of their way to help. No judgement. Someone that is not only aware of Autism, but is accepting, and understanding. Speaking to people like this make me realise that I am not imagining these things with Stanley (because other people really make me feel like I am at times). Other people judge, and it’s often because they have known a child with Autism, and Stanley isn’t like that one child they have met. What most people don’t realise is that one child with Autism is simply that… one child with Autism. The spectrum is so wide, and so varied, that no two children with Autism are the same… and because you have met one, you haven’t met them all. Meeting one child, and understanding one child, does not mean that you therefore understand what all children are like. It is the same with Autism. People won’t accept, and understand, unless they really take the time to be open, to listen, and to do all they can to at least try and understand. Whilst most people are probably aware of Autism these days, I am not so sure that they are understanding, or accepting… and especially when meeting someone who doesn’t fit the stereotypical, media representation, of what Autism “is”.
I think I need some time tonight to reflect on today, and to reassess what we are doing, and what more we can do to try and help this little man cope.