Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Field Trip Adventure

This year, 2016, is flying by! With April (Autism Awareness Month) almost over and coming into the month of May with summer in tow, as a blink of any eye; the winter holidays will be here. My motto of taking each minute, each day and treating as if tomorrow may not be here is super right on.

Our schedules here in our family keeps us coming and going. Someone always has something to do. Yes, I will say there are not enough hours in the day but I manage to complete most everything. The Gift of Time is something we can never get back and the one gift in life that is so valuable. Over the years, I have wasted time frivolously but in the uphill ride along with many years of growth, I have come to figure out my own obsessions, my own compulsive way of doing things. Basically to let things slide.  Not to stress when something may not get done, fret over a situation beyond my control or when a little is having a meltdown. There is plenty of other things to worry about about or for the matter laugh about. Do not get me wrong, I still have anxiety or worry when we are out in public but it is my worry and my own issue that sometimes needs to be put in check. Living in a society when children or teenagers have situations especially in public, one would rather judge on the scenario then truly know why or what is happening. This is where my anxiety is directed.

Leading to our last week of field trips, well first let me define what field trips mean in our home:

Field Trip - Any outing of any kind with the family, friends, one or all little's or just mom or dad. Hence this could be going to the post office, grocery store, amusement park, friends house, city park, a walk around the block and/or eating out. 
Get this gist!!!

Being my organized, compulsive self, I pretty much know how much time I have before the over-stimulation hits the all time high or the signs for we need to get home, set in. Therefore in our last week adventures, I took all the little's on field trips. One of many landing us at the grocery store. After ten minutes of scoping the parking for a large shopping cart, buckling everyone in and laying some minor ground rules, we set off into the store, singing twinkle twinkle little star. Yes, we sing a lot in public, we do other redirection antics but this day we sang over and over while our shopping cart filled up. The store field trip was going great, had a few comments of how great the children were doing, comments on the little's singing and some other comments of how much my hands must be full. Not much phases me, I have heard most everything when I have all the children (big and little). I always smile and comment back, with a smile and a little comment of my plate is a platter and how blessed we are.

With all that, we were on a mission. Groceries for home and to leave the store as the same way we came in. Quietly singing. Well, towards the end, the signs started coming. I knew if I did not cut my time and finish there was a possibility of some kind of something that could happen with one of them or that matter all of them. So, we played a game of I-Spy, finished the shopping in record time and all seemed to be laughing, talking, singing and I for that matter was enjoying the moments with my children.

The last leg, we hit the check out line and it just took one small trigger of a patron making a comment and touching my little's curly hair. For one to be so bold but a small invasion of personal space was it. The meltdown started, after double checking nobody was hurt, I continued with checking out while not engaging in the meltdown but that did not stop other patrons looking our way, commenting on the crying or the usage of repetitive words. A couple of people even left our line and not because it was not moving, they left because of the active meltdown of my little. Though I am use to it, I still respect others around me. There have been times I have left the store and all our groceries because truly what is important is the well-being of my children. However, I will not give in to the meltdown either as that teaches my children nothing. As we proceeded to finish, the cashier commented about my little crying and how tired he must be, I quickly commented back, he is Autistic. She quickly along with the one of the patrons who left our line and the person behind us; all changed their tune. They no longer saw my little as child who was crying or speaking over and over because he may of not gotten what he wanted, they all made comments that ranged, he really is doing great with the grocery shopping, do you need help or anything I can do. I politely said we are good, I thanked them for their offerings but it was hard. With the comments made and the looks I received only mere minutes early, I needed help now because of one word, people judge without knowing anything.

None of this surprises me, I even have these awesome cards given to me but only had one left, I would have handed each person a card as it talks about having an autistic child. I have to admit the cards come in handy. As handy as the cards are, I feel sorry for people who are uneducated of special needs. Those who think everyone fits into a box. I do not expect everyone to know about Autism, Epilepsy or Sensory Processing Disorder, but I guess I do expect people to be aware that not all people fit into one area of life. We, my family, live in and out of the lines of our boxes.  Our box is not perfect and many times we cannot even stay contained. My frustration lies when people make assumptions. I should have never had made an explanation but then again I should have never received the eye rolls, heard the comments regarding the crying and the stares but this experience is quite normal until, if any, an explanation is stated. We need to remember that we do not walk in someone else shoes, we have our own pair, those who choose to judge may not want to be judge themselves. Sometimes that is a hard lesson. In all of it, we all need to be kind, smile and most of all be positive of circumstances, things may not always appear as they are. GOD BLESS

“The most interesting people you’ll find are ones that don’t fit into your average cardboard box. They’ll make what they need, they’ll make their own boxes,” Dr. Temple Grandin

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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