A little boy of about 11 years old walked into a very large store. His mother was very busy hustling and bustling with the sales and her own shoppping she needed to do. She walked in, grabbed a cart, and quickly walked down an aisle. Sudeenly, the boy screamed at the top of his lungs and wouldn’t stop. The greeter asked him to stop and he cussed him out. At this, the greeter grabbed him by the arm to escort him out. The boy pushed him away and ran right into the manager who had already been alerted of the “situation”, as it owuld be called on the police report. The manager, with a smile grabbed hold of the boy and asked him where he was going. At this,the boy tried to get away like a lizard trying to get away from a hunhgry dog. I truly believe that the little boy would have dropped his arm if he could have. The boys immedielty took off running breaking free and screaming through the store. He pushed people’s carts over, tore things off the shelf, and the police were called to aprehend a mental patient. The mother didn’t know who it was making this raucus till she watched her son jump over two registers, kick over a cary, step on a telescope, and finally run out the door and over the hood of a police car where he was forcibly apprehended, stunned, and put in the back of a police car.
When nobody saw was the begenning of this event….much like the following video. He walked in and immedietly his eyes went wide, and he began to hyperventilate. It was if his head couldn’t move fast enough to look at every thing that was making a noice or a sound. People got very close, and he began to avoid as many people as he could while also trying to stop the noises that were going all around him. All at once a big family pushed by him and hye was sandwitched between two men. At this same moment, a group of carts came in and a siren went off from one of the games.
This boy has autism. But not severe. The noises are like nails on the chalk board (every noise!). When people touch him, it’s like someone is ripping his skin off. Everything that happened to him…increased the problem 3 and 4 fold.
Before we go on….allow me to give you an example of what this is like:
People who are diagnoseed on the autistic spectrum, aspergers included, do not fit in the “normal” way of doing things. Their social interactions are not like most people, and their brain is telling them and saying things to them that are vastly different than what ours does. This does not mean they are bad people, but we must pay attention to the way we interact with people.
In fact, there are many reports that peoplein general all have some form of autistic tendencies….whehter it be the way things feel on your skin, the way you react or noise affect you…or merely the fact you have been undiagnosed for years. The end comment is simply this….we must begin to ways of accepting and understanding all people in this world. We are living in great large cities and societies…they encompass all of us, and we should see our world like this too.
As for the boy, the mother came up and offered to pay for the damages. The manager and the police were yelling at her. I stepped up and asked if there was a label for how her son acted…when she said he was autistic (something she later said she didn’t like to tell people and make him feel “different”…btw – how sad is it that people have to hide their true identity because our society can’t accept them. Do you want this for your child…of course not!) the manager and polikce officer cocked their head. I proceeded to tell them all the things they did to exacberate the situation.
In the end, the boy cried all the way home and did not get in trouble. However, there was a lot of people that day that got a full autistic education moment. As I spoke and explained why the boy did what he did, what autism is, and then gave out cards that linked to blogs I’ve written….20 people were educated, empathetic, and now will go out and educate others.
A few great autistic resources:
The more people learn about the people and the world around us…the closer we are to coexistence!