They Were Making Fun Of My Son, So I....Did Nothing
He did. He did and they laughed and chased and invented new games and David enjoyed it immensely, filling up the time until the start of the parade. There were still a few who hung off to the side, making derogatory remarks, laughing at the foolishness of their friends playing with the weird kid.
"I still think you should go over there," Anna said, mulishly.
"I could. Believe me, I'm fighting the urge. But the truth is, if I do, they'll stop playing with him. And he's having so much fun."
"But they're talking about him!"
"Yes, they are. But does he know that, Anna?"
"Maybe he does. You always say he hears everything we say." She pointed out.
"He might have heard. If he did, he just doesn't care. He's having fun with the kids who don't care, either. I'm not going to stop that, even though it's not an ideal scenario."
The parade started shortly after that, and David gleefully chased down the tossed candy with the rest of the kids. When the fire engine cruised by and started up its sirens and lights, he dropped his candy bag, clapping his hands fiercely over his ears and closing his eyes tightly. He screamed for me - the sensory overload was just too much. And as I raced forward, one of the other kids picked up his candy bag for him, handing it to me. His friend looked at David nervously.
"Is he OK?" He asked.
"He'll be fine. David has autism, and sometimes loud noises and bright lights are hard for him. His brain processes them differently and it's like they're amplified a thousand percent."
Their eyes widened. I rubbed David's back soothingly until the fire engine was far enough away that I could gently move his hands off his ears.
One of the boys stepped over to him with a handful of candy.
"Here," he said. "They were throwing this. From the fire engine. I got a lot."
"Thank You!" David exclaimed. I added my thanks as well. Thank you. Thank you for thinking of my son. Thank you for thinking of my son as a person. Thank you.
So I took my son to the Halloween parade, and he laughed and he played and he watched the parade go by and he got a lot of candy. As far as he's concerned, it was a perfect night.
Perfect is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. In the world of autism, perfect isn't so black and white.