All week Zak has been on the brink of a meltdown, unhappy, angry and generally out of sorts. Not allowing him to totally dictate our Easter we ventured out for a family Pub Lunch on Saturday. After 10 minutes of playing musical chairs navigated by Zak everyone is pretty confident that he will settle (next to my gorgeous Mum and opposite me). I on the other hand am not convinced. A look he gives me, the way he orders his food and his unsettledness tells me he is anxious and unhappy.
Armed with colouring and my iPhone we make it through our lunch. Zak kept making an exaggerated sniffing noise, like you may have when full of a cold. The lady who was sat behind him (she was sat side onto him) tutted, bitched and then to really make her point stood up and moved her chair so she had her back to him. My first reaction is one to leap over the table and shame her ignorance. When I am on my own with Zak I do not hold back on educating these people, however not wanting to embarrass my whole family I say nothing. This allows me the time and space to reflect on why someone would be so rude to a young boy.
Why would she know he had Autism? I too have huffed and puffed at what I believe to be a badly behaved or rude child. You don’t know…..until you live it or know someone who does.
Zak woke up on Easter Sunday so poorly with a sore throat and bad cough so was obviously feeling rubbish the last few days. His understanding is different to a neuro typical child and he is unable to communicate his exact feelings and can do this via his behaviour. Maybe the sniffing wasn’t some annoying tic but more of something not feeling quite right in his throat.
So as today is World Autism Awareness Day I pray for people to not have a total understanding but to try, please try not to judge our kids who are struggling with the world around them.
If they appear to be giving you or me a hard time…..they are having a harder time. If us Mums appear anxious…..they are more anxious. If you are struggling in their company trust me they are struggling a whole lot more in yours!!!!!