I was just thinking about the kindness of a family that live on the street over from us. Peter takes walks, weather permitting, during his home therapy sessions three times a week. I forget how it started exactly...I think Peter saw a swing set in the Ellis' backyard and bolted away from his therapist. Mrs. Ellis spends a lot of time walking and working on her yard so she sees Peter in our yard or out walking a lot. She invited him to play that day. From that point on his therapist would stop to say hi with Peter whenever Mrs. Ellis was outside. Sometimes he would play on their swing set. In the fall Peter spent some time exploring their cool scarecrows and other Halloween decorations.
On Halloween, Peter goes trick-or-treating. By the time we get to the next street he usually loses interest. When we got to the Ellis' house he hung back at the edge of the street with us while his siblings went to the door. The Ellis' asked for Peter and came out of their house to come talk to him and give him candy. They were genuinely excited to see him. Their kindness was so touching.
A few weeks ago, Mrs. Ellis came out to meet Peter during one of his therapy walks. She had seen him walking with a plastic Buzz Lightyear toy a while before. When she was in a store she saw a stuffed Buzz Lightyear and thought of Peter. She bought the toy for him. His therapist told me about it when they got back. Again, I was touched by their kindness and thoughtfulness.
Peter is far from a "normal" 10 year old. He doesn't know how to have a real conversation. If we are lucky, our questions to him will evoke a one or two word answer. Peter is just "all over the place", like a big puppy that doesn't realize his size and can't contain his excitement...definitely a bull in a china shop! He can definitely be overwhelming(a lot)!
We spend a lot of time apologizing for Peter..."I'm sorry he knocked down your child's sand castle and laughed about it."...."I'm sorry he rubbed your arms."...."I'm sorry he's touching your purse."
We spend a lot of time saying, "I'm sorry, he's autistic. He doesn't understand."
To have people care about Peter...especially people that aren't his family and don't have to care about Peter...that's just so encouraging to me. It makes me feel like we have someone else, like our family members and close friends, who are on our team. Thank-you for supporting us. Thank-you for accepting him for who he is and where he's at in his developmental journey.