Meet This “Little Man” in My Life
Man, I love this kid!
The joys of tears, laughter, learning and so much more from this awesome kid named, Kieran. Over a year ago I met him. He's my boyfriend's son. He's autistic.
I've volunteered with POAC and Autism Speaks, I've turned that blue light on and have spoken with many parents that have autistic children. I've worked closely with Children's Specialized Hospital but I would never have guessed that one day I would be in this world.
At first, I was scared..why? Wait, maybe scared is the wrong word... I'm not sure. Maybe it's the stigma that comes with autism. The spectrum, we hear about it all the time, but now it was right here in front of my face. The spectrum, something I never had to deal with before.
I remember when I first met my boyfriend he told me he had an autistic son, I was like...OK, I've heard all about it. I know some friends with an autistic child, I can handle this. I had no idea and still don't know what everyday brings..although with any child autistic or not you never know what's going to happen on a daily basis.
Kier Kier, what I like to call him, is brilliant in his own mind. He's so good with the Ipad. He recently won an award with Special Olympics for Bowling. Now, there are times I get frustrated, when he looks right through me when he doesn't want to listen to me...but here's the deal, he knows exactly what I'm saying, but when he chooses not to listen..that's the frustrating part. It's not always easy, if you're not in my life on a daily basis, you probably think..wow, are you sure you want to have this in your life. I never thought once I don't want to date this man because of his autistic son. Never did that enter my mind. I dove in and try to learn more and more about this interesting person that I can have breakfast and dinner with and enjoy an occasional game, especially Wii! To watch him is fascinating to me. Why, I don't know..it's strange I know. But honestly to watch this kid flap his arms when he's happy, to jump up and down when we tell him we're going to Six Flags is amazing to watch. It's something that I will never get tired of being a part of.
I have such respect for his Mother and Father. Never at one moment do they treat him any differently than any other kid and they want him to be involved just like anyone else.
I've learned he can do it, he just does it differently. And here is where my child comes into play..Abby. My 9 year old who is not autistic. I thought when they first met, how do I explain this to her. Why is he different?. By the way..she said to me from the very beginning, he's not different.. if we only all thought like that, right? Truth is, he is different in a beautiful way. He has feelings just like you and me and he has a heart that can be broken just like you and me. The thing about Kier..he doesn't understand that someone might not accept him because he accepts everybody.
Abby and Kier have a great time together. They fight and argue like brother and sister but for the most part..they keep each other company. The amazing thing is seeing my daughter be compassionate and passionate about protecting Kier from kids that see him as different or acts differently than they do. The neighborhood kids accept and love playing with him. He's opened up the eyes of so many on our little block where we live. Including my own.
He loves dogs, he loves shopping, he loves Abby, he loves fans. He'll ask his Dad about 400 times a day.."Can we go to Walmart" and every time his Dad will say, "NO". Sometimes he takes him. I look at my boyfriend and say, "How can you keep saying, "NO"..with no anger..no loss of patience." It's unbelievable to watch these two love each other so much..I get frustrated hearing it 3 times, let alone 400 times (I'm learning).
The future itself is unknown for autistic kids let alone this kid I love so much which is a little scary. The future of Kieran is unknown, but I know his father and he'll be right by his side showing him how to reach his endless possibilities and never give-up.
For now I will just enjoy every thing I learn from him..the times he yells "Sue, how are you?" And love every moment. Yes, even the melt downs in the middle of a Target. He was just trying to tell us he really, really wanted that SpongeBob stuffed animal, but his Dad said, NO"! Do me a favor when you hear one of these melt downs in the middle of the store..it might annoy you..it might make you angry..it might make you look at the parents and think get control of your kid, it's not just a spoiled kid laying on the ground crying, he's autistic. That is not an excuse but it's a reason. I totally understand because I have to walk away sometimes. To you..the Mom that had to just deal with the meltdown on the stores floor this morning or the Dad that had to remove their child from the restaurant because of the screaming..I am in complete awe of you! You are amazing! You are an amazing parent to that awesome autistic child.
We learn everyday and we enjoy gifts that are given to us..for some reason I was given this gift of Kieran and I'm not sure why..I guess one day I'll figure that out, or maybe I never will...except this gift..I'll cherish it and open it up slowly because what's inside is a spectacular present that my life didn't know I was ready for.