Today is World Autism Awareness day and today I made someone aware.
The Roc had to go to the dentist this morning for a cleaning and when he was led away by the hygienist the man sitting in the waiting room struck up a conversation with me about kids. It started with the usual asking of the Roc’s age and him telling me about his grand kids in New Jersey. He moved the conversation on to school, mainly kindergarten, and about how one of his grandsons “failed” kindergarten. I told him about the Roc going on to kindergarten next year and how the classroom will be structured with extra help for him, because he has Autism.
The man stated the typical responses I hear from many people, that they know what causes it, he’ll grow out of it, and it’s genetic, right? He was shocked and actually leaned back in his seat when I said that no one knows right now what causes Autism, that not all cases have a genetic basis, and no, the Roc wasn’t going to “grow out of his Autism.” I went on to tell him about the spectrum, where the Roc is on the spectrum, and how alike and different he is from other children his age, both typical and Autistic. He told me that he really had no idea about the disorder and that I was telling him all new information. He was nice and when the Roc came back into the waiting room (they weren’t able to clean his teeth, he was terribly agitated by another child crying in the bay next to him) I could see the man watching the Roc with new eyes.
Whether the information I imparted on this nice man will make a difference in how he sees other children and how he views Autism, I don’t know, but I sure hope so.
I made one person aware today.