Last week C and I spoke of how N wasn’t welcomed at C’s first dance competition (that can be found here) C was so angry that his brother wasn’t accepted, and that by extension he too was not accepted for who he is and how his neuropathways work. So I had two choices, I could either validate his emotions or not. Of course I chose to do so because they ARE his emotions. No one should ever tell someone they can’t feel the way they do. Then what could have been the really tricky part came, how to help him deal with it in a positive manner.
We spoke about awareness, and acceptance. We spoke of how the two are not mutually inclusive of each other. We spoke of how when people don’t understand Autism that their perceptions are skewed in a negitive manner towards things like meltdowns.
That not everyone understands the difference between a meltdown that occurs due to the brain dealing with too much sensory information it can’t process (even in “fun” or “enjoyable” situations) and a tantrum that is a “want” based behaviour choice that occurs simply to produce a desired result from someone.
So we did what I often do when I’m bothered, we baked. Then we baked some more, and we continued to talk and bake for most of the evening. In total we made just over 200 cookies. But these were not ordinary cookies, oh no. These cookies were “secret agenda” cookies. Because they were green and purple puzzle peice shaped sugar cookies and were going to be given out with a business card that C and I designed about Autism. Here is about half of them:
On the front of the card it said “Life with Autism can still be sweet!” and below that the one thing C says is most important to know about being Autistc “My brain works a bit differently, but my heart doesn’t. I still feel everything else that other people do, and I just want to be accepted as me, not as what you think a label makes me” On the back I added a list of ingredients for the cookies and how to find their way here should they wish to learn more about what Autism means for us specifically.
We then discussed who/where we were going to give out our plethora of cookies, and C said he’d like to give them out to the kids at his homeschool group, because “Me and N go there, so I want them to understand Autism doesn’t make me or N bad, just a bit different, but different can be good too.”
Well the cookie giving went very well from my point of view. There was one moment that one of the other homeschooling moms came up to me, told me how much she liked what we’d done, and thanked us for informing her and everyone there about Autism. I was floored, it was such a lovely reaction, and I treasure her support of our endevour greatly! The staff at the YMCA where we go for homeschool group were great about it as well, smiling, munching cookies and reading the cards attached. Many of them commenting to C how great it was that he had done this. Ahh yes another reason I adore the YMCA we go too, as if I needed more reasons with how fantastic every person that works there is! (Seriously, I have no idea how they managed to get that many awesome people to work in one building, but I may never move towns just so we can continue to go there specifically for so many of our fitness/social programs!)
C was so happy with how well it went that I have agreed to help him make another 200 cookies to give away to somewhere else. No clue where that is yet, as I’m letting him pick where he feels we should go with them. 🙂