Tuesday, September 4, 2012

An unexpected accessory

Dan and I riding the train

On my recent vacation to the Jersey Shore, I stopped by a cute little carnival that I knew my little Dan would love, sensory seeker that he is! Little did I know that I would be offered this unexpected accessory, a bracelet, which indicated to the attendants at the rides that I was traveling with a special neeeds child.

Daniel is now 5 and I guess this is the magic age , at least for him, where it has become apparent to the world that Dan is different. He doesn't necessarily look like a special needs child, except that he is tall for his age and still does not talk, insists on throwing himself on the floor, makes sing songy noises, and occasionally sticks his hand in his butt and smells it! lol. Okay, perhaps he does look like a special needs child!  If you know my story, I don't necesarily scream to the world that Dan has autism. I don't want it to define us but lately, it seems, he has been screaming it for me.   

Daniel absolutely enjoyed the carousel ride so I decided to get on line again to give it another go. The attendant on the carousel, a sweet older gentleman that reminded me of my father in law, discreetly asked "can I ask you a question?" I could tell he was treading very carefully, "is your child special needs?" I don't know what was coming next. Were we getting kicked off the ride? Had Dan's noises bothered the other carousel riders? I have to admit, I was getting a little defensive. I said "yes he is, why do you ask?" "Because he could ride for free!" He said. Wow! That was awesome! Those rides are freakin' expensive so I was overjoyed. With the tickets I had bought I would probably only be able to ride one other ride but now we were able to go on two or three more, woot hoot! This is one instance where I didn't mind Dan standing out. lol.

So I went to the customer service booth and got my cute little orange paper bracelet that said to the world that yes, Dan is different, we were indeed special and we deserve a little slack. I wish the world were more like this sweet little carnival.

I told my mother in law the story. I mentioned earlier in this post, that the man that had asked the question looked like my father in law, Auggie who is now deceased.  I knew she was going to say it, "Auggie was always very compassionate, I wonder if that was him, through that man, watching out for Dan." Maybe it was.