Autism is not a curse. It is not a daily heartbreaking devastation, at least not in our home. I can’t speak for everyone who is raising someone with autism because it is a spectrum disorder- which means each person has various levels of how it impacts them and their lives. But I do remember when we got our first born’s diagnosis and feeling overwhelmed by the lack of knowledge I had on my own son!
I didn’t know that autism was a neurological brain disorder. I didn’t know what sensory processing was or that anyone could be overwhelmed by lights or sounds and seek sensory input at the same time. I didn’t know how this diagnosis would impact my child for the rest of his life. But I did know that this new information didn’t change my son. Mr. L was still my beautiful, intelligent, creative, wonderment son.
This diagnosis of autism was meant to change me, completely. This new information of a speech delay and communication delays was meant for me to set my pride aside, humble myself, and learn how to be the parent my unique child needed. Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of experience with children and was a great mother. Which is why being willing to take all my parenting knowledge and pushing it inside out and turning it upside down was such a frustrating journey for me to deal with. I was a good mom, so why was nothing working?
Because autism is a different way of thinking, communicating, and understanding the world. And if I was going to keep up, I was going to have to kick off my comfortable shoes of the world I knew and get ready to frolic through some sand of new information.
And I gotta tell you that it’s been worth every gritty step of this journey.
So today I want to share this new and cool thing Mr. L has started doing. Leading yoga classes. Not just learning yoga at home, or even adventuring out to a yoga class…. He has started leading yoga sessions at school during recess with his neurotypical peers. That means he has asked and convinced typical 4th grade kids to follow him through yoga sessions during their recess time. This is not his special education class or his special education teacher helping lead this.
This is his regular 4th grade class peers that he spends usually 75% of his school day with. And from the pictures I’m getting from his teacher, they all seem to be having a great time! I just wish I knew what he was saying to these cool kids when inviting them to exercise with him in these fun stretching poses. Mr. L is seriously such a cool kid.
This isn’t the first time he has done something like this, he often reads picture books to his neurotypical 4th grade class after they visit their school library, if he finds a book he deems fun enough to read to everyone. From the pictures and videos I’m getting from his class aid, his peers seem to love his expressive reading 😄
I’ve even seen him lead a crowd at Disneyland’s California Adventure, I kid you not. We were there last year, and over by the ride Mission Breakout, they had street performers who put on a dance party. But when the show was over the music was still playing and Mr. L hopped up on the sidewalk and started leading the crowd with his own dance moves and clapping! The crazy thing was that not only did the crowd stay, participate and cheer, more passerby’s stopped and joined! That is one brave kid who loves to have a great time and likes others to love life with him. Sometimes Autism can be amazing.