I think one thing I struggle with as Owen's mom is dealing with other ignorant adults. I am not referring to adults as just being rude, I an referring to adults who come across rude because they do not understand. There have been so many places that we take Owen, and if you would never talk to him, or ask him a question.. you would never know he has Autism. He runs, plays, laughs, slides down slides.. just like your child, or your niece or nephew.. the change is when you talk to him.
For me this is difficult.. as I am a very protective parent, and my heart breaks for him at this point in time. Like I have written before, Owen communicates in his own way.. a way that of course we understand, and close family and friends.. that is it. We know that Owen has specific faces for different things, different grunts and noises for others.. but for a stranger, they would not know what to think.
I feel for Owen when we are out in public, and children and adults try and engage Owen in coversation, and he does not respond. I almost feel like I have to wait a second, say, "Hi" for him, and then inform people that he has Autism and thats why he can not answer you right now. Owen has tried on many occasions at an indoor playground we go to to make friends, mostly by pulling at their clothing to get them to follow him, and they do not understand him, and think he is being mean.. this is when my heart breaks.. or when a child will ask Owen his name, and he can not respond.. but he gives them the biggest heart melting smile.. and I want so bad to just give him my voice.. I would gladly be silent for the rest of my life to give him the tools to communicate.
I worry about this constantly.. my only wish for Owen if I could choose just one, would be that he learn to be more verbal, and have that ability to speak that a lot of us take for granted. Ryan and I have tried and tried and tried.. and now we are going to invest quite a bit of money to have someone else try everything they know to make this dream a reality for me.. and yes it is sad.. it is OUR dream for him...but one he will come to appreciate and make his life so much more easier.
I honestly can not wait for the day, we take Owen back to the indoor playground.. when a child says, "hey.. whats your name"... just to hear my son say, "Owen"..even though..he is most happy smiling and giggling..
ps - thank you Auntie Jen for your donation on Owen's behalf in support of Autism and signing the puzzle piece with his name... thank you so much.