"Why Does It Take Your Kid So Long to Get on the Bus?"
Now, this neighbor is one that I haven't held in high regard. I hear her yelling at her children with such anger in her voice as her children play. I hear her annoyance with her children. I know that children can be trying to say the least, but as a special needs mom, I also have a different perspective that doesn't allow me to fully understand the contempt with kids being typical kids. I find it hard to find anger and annoyance in the everyday follies of a child.
I felt the anger rise in my chest. The ignorance and lack of understanding from my neighbors had come to a head and I felt so incensed at it all. The feeling that we are living in a world that no longer focuses on community and centers more around the individual was more than I could bear. We're so concerned for our lives that a school bus is nothing more than an inconvenience?
As I opened my lips to speak, I paused and took a deep breath. This is not who you are. You are the bigger person. You treat your neighbors better than this. I took a second breath and responded.
"My son rides the special needs school bus. It takes the driver a moment to strap him into his seat, but I really appreciate your patience in the meantime."
I could see the look on her face. It registered. The fact that I carry my boy in my arms. That I have to help lift him onto the bus. The fact that he is so very small. The fact that he doesn't ride the same bus as her children, even though we share matching elementary school bumper stickers on our cars. The fact that I have a puzzle piece wreath on my door and that we have blue exterior lighting throughout the month of April. It clicked. She knew. She withdrew into her car silently. I kept my composure, which was the best I could do. I spoke calmly and -- hopefully -- helped educate someone.
I wondered for the rest of the day what she was thinking. Did she feel remorse? Did I care, really? Ultimately, I just wanted her to think twice before speaking, which I hope I accomplished. I have no idea, but if just one person shows more compassion rather than inconvenience in a similar situation, then I will have done my job as my child's first advocate.
Changing the world's perception of autism, one magnetic letter at a time.
Photo Credit: bsabarnowl.
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