Sunday, June 3, 2012
Magnets and labels.
JT is doing awesome lately.
So well, in fact, that I've found that I don't have to explain anything... he's interacting with his peers in an odd but sort of appropriate way.
I find myself in a strange place.
Before, JT was so different that I had to explain immediately why. Autism was one of the first words out of my mouth at any given place.
Now, we can get through entire play dates, whole family outings without a single super odd event.
He's making friends.
I'm not announcing anything.
Which makes me feel... weird. I'm not used to this.
Add into it that JT has a new awareness for what his peers think of him. His teacher tells me he will not cry or be upset in front of his typical classmates.
Today I took my Autism Awareness magnet off my car.
I've had that magnet on my car since 2008. When JT was in Pre-K. When he was throwing chairs and throwing huge tantrums. When he was what I would consider moderate (at least) on the spectrum.
When I peeled it off there was a clear outline of 'super clean car' where it had been.
I feel odd.
And guilty. I have always promoted autism awareness. I am going into special education. Of course I promote awareness and acceptance.
But JT's needs and self-esteem are more important.
I feel naked. Which is exactly how I feel on outings now. No fall back - I can't embarrass him for the sake of me. Sharing his diagnosis is not a given anymore.
But he's doing it. He's holding his own, and man is he an inspiration for everyone.
And he is keenly aware of what others think. And would not like that announcement of difference on our car.
I'm so proud of him. If you say it can't be done, look at my baby. He's doing the impossible. And smiling while he does it. He is amazing.