This is always a magical and confusing time for my lil girl. The holiday season can be so joyus but frustrating for our special needs kids. We were out at the traditional Toronto santa claus parade which my daughter loves. Just the process of getting there is nerve wrecking for both of us. Everytime we go on the train its the end of process of getting off the train because the sensory overload it provides with the engine sounds and crowds getting off. In those moments it becomes tough but also interesting. Almost all the someone is asking if she is ok and one the transit always seems to relate to our situation. Now she loves parades but they can be equally frustrating for a kid that sits on the spectrum. Put into context. You tell them where going to see a parade so when we get there they’re expecting it right away. Very difficult for them to compute that it takes time. While waiting we tend to bump into to people to talk to. I met another single father who has a child on the spectrum also. He was telling me how frustrated he was because his son was driving him nuts with all his little fine detail ways. Now i have had some experience working with families in a respite role. My natural thing to do was to ask him what is his son doing that is bothering him. We went through everything you could possibly imagine. I was walking him through how different sensory works and also helping him understand the importance of routine. One example was him and son were coming out of the bathroom and her son stopped him when he came out and asked if he washed his hands. His first inclination was to be angry at his son for telling him what to do. I helped him understand its part of his sons routine so he is just making sure everyone is on the same routine because that’s all he hears from school. Think of it when the kids are at school one of the constant phrases is “did you wash your hands when done” so in his mind when in the bathroom that’s what he hears and does. The other thing was the touch sensory. These kids don’t take well to unpredictable sensory. In this case someone walks up and gives a hug like everyone else. For most not a big deal. But in this case it needs to be asked before taking place because they need to want the touch sensory in any circumstance. I helped this dad understand that also. See we live in a world where its always about what i want. We rarely take the time to understand what the other person may be going through. Honestly that’s what i love about special needs kids. They help us learn empathy. When i deal with my girl i rarely think of what i want anymore. A lot of thought is put into what is she going through how is this going to affect her first. I helped this father understand that and he was so grateful for it. During our conversation his son was asking to sit down near the street so he could be close to the parade. At first he was reluctant then i reminded him there’s a reason for him wanting that. I seen them later and he made his son happy by sitting upfront. I would like to think our conversation made a difference. He couldn’t stop thanking me for helping him realize. On the contrast my daughter for the last minute of the conversation was asking to go inside because it was getting noisy. As they say you meet one child on the spectrum you’ve met on. Meaning no child on the spectrum is the same as another. I admit this information i didn’t make up. I’ve learned this from a lady named temple grandin. She is autistc and i have been her books since 5 years ago. She is my personal hero. I hope to meet her one day and thank her for being that guiding in helping me understand my girls world and allowing me to partake in who she is. Ever since i decided we were not going hide who we are and what we deal with i have met countless people who need someone just to talk to about their situation and maybe wanting some help. I come to realize whether its the neighbour or around the world we are one big community. I know sometimes our kids get picked and beaten down but the more we understand them the better we can help them. I know this post is a little long but i had so much to share. I hope when people read this someone else learns the same way i did.