Monday, 12 October 2015

A ray of sunshine - autism at the playground


It was a pretty day in the playground.  The family had a higher adult to child ratio than normal and so I was able to give all my attention to David.  Then something amazing happened - for about a minute he didn't need me there.  

Now for a child with autism this is nothing unusual.  David can happily play on an iPad without looking up or needing actual attention for an hour and can in fact refuse assistance on a regular basis.  But this time it was different. He didn't need me to interact with him because he'd started to interact with another child.

The word 'interaction' comes from Latin 'inter', meaning between or among, and 'ago' meaning to do or to act––any “action between” is considered an interaction.  That's back and forth. 

For David this is difficult.  He is 4.5 years and like 25% (www.autismspeaks.org) or so of people with autism he is non verbal for the most part. His verbal skills are limited to single sounds, most of his communication is through a loose version of Makaton sign language that we have learned.  Throw in that he doesn't understand, or in most cases care, about what others are doing or saying and it makes 'interaction' quite difficult. Nevertheless, today sunshine illuminating his face he did it.

David stood and then took turns, first spinning another little girl and then when offered the seat was spun in a teacup. I was mesmerized. The rest of the playground were completely oblivious to the excitement I was containing. Most mums, just like the one of the little girl, can take their kids to the playground and expect them to play with other kids without help or often without any parental awareness.  But this was a first for David and me.  My eldest, who is also on the autistic spectrum, still needs assistance with social interactions.  In this case, I was soon needed as an interpreter but that didn't matter - I was interpreting an interaction with another child of similar age. 

The lovely little girl was perceptive "why doesn't David talk", "I want to show you, why aren't you looking at me David?" 

A quick chat later and the she declared, "Well, David finds talking difficult but he is very good at climbing and I find climbing very difficult". 

They played until the little girl had to go home. And David, the rest of the troop and I walked back to the car in the sunshine.

Share your joyful moments of interaction with me, I'd love to hear about them. 

13 comments:

  1. Another beautiful post hun. What a massive moment for you all. Such amazing progress. Aren't kids intuitive, I think as adults we can learn so much about how to interact with SEN children through their interactions with intuitive children like this. So pleased for you. TY for linking up with #FamilyFun 🌸

    ReplyDelete
  2. I enjoyed reading about David's day out. Thanks for sharing another milestone in his life and writing on Autism. Many people do not like sharing. It is nice to meet you thanks to #FamilyFun

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a beautiful post. Sometimes children are much wiser than adults, I'm so glad she saw his strengths x

    ReplyDelete
  4. what a lovely moment for you to treasure. #SpectrumSunday

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this. My heart skips a beat when Joseph has what may be small moments for other parents. It means everything to me :-)
    #SpectrumSunday

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is beautiful. I love how simply the little girl put everything we wish other people would understand about our kids. He's not so good at somethings but better at others, like all of us. #SpectrumSunday

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a lovely post and got to love children making it is so simple X #spectrumsunday

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's beautiful, sometimes kids can be so cool! My cousin's 4 year-old said a few weeks ago "Just because Tommy doesn't speak, doesn't mean we can't be friends"
    #SpectrumSunday

    ReplyDelete
  9. How beautiful! Kids rock--so pure, with such good hearts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's so uplifting when others take the time to interact. Glad to hear you had a good day!

    ReplyDelete
  11. All it takes is another child to listen. What a lovely story.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved hearing how the little girl was so matter of fact about David not using speech - she obviously had a great time playing with him. Lovely story #SpectrumSunday

    ReplyDelete
  13. I loved reading this - those moments are so special and exciting and momentous x

    ReplyDelete

I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

Follow
@rainbowsaretoo facebook.com/rainbowsaretoobeautiful Ann H on Google + rainbowsaretoo pinterest rainbowsaretoobeautiful bloglovin Instagram rainbowsaretoobeautiful
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100