So I know I try to keep it happy and light around these parts, but sometimes, I read blog posts (like this one from Diary of a Mom) that jog my memory of the not so good times. I think these stories are important to intersperse on here as an education tool.
Today’s lesson: If you see someone acting different than how you would expect that person to act, either a) keep your comments to yourself, b) DON’T SAY SOMETHING WITHIN EARSHOT OF SAID PERSON AND FAMILY, c) try using those critical thinking skills to imagine the possible reasons for the individual’s actions, or d) notice the different actions, think to yourself, “Huh, that’s different,” and then go on with your life.
Back when Dude was in his early teen years, we were walking through one of our local malls. A group of tween girls were eyeing him up. After all, he’s a cute kid. And he has that totally dreamy, affected-aloofness-James-Dean-thing down to a T. (It’s a direct affect of autism, but whatevs. They didn’t have to know that.)
Just as they were giggling and smirking in their tweenish, hearts-a-flutter way, my brother let out one of his self-stimming vocalizations and stuck both his arms up in the air, as he was in the habit of doing around that time.
The girlish smiles were instantaneously gone.
Replaced instead by nervous laughter.
“What’s wrong with him?” I heard one of them say.
At once, I was filled with a thousand conflicting feelings.
The three biggest ones?
1) A desire to punch each and every one of them in the face
2) Embarrassment. I was, after all, a young teen myself. Intent on getting through those years by drawing the least amount of attention to myself as possible.
3) Shame. In direct response to #2. Why should I be embarrassed by Dude being Dude? Dude is awesome. Those girls were not.