Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Teaching Levi

First, no news. I can't print the words I want to say, so POOP will have to do.

One day while we were in Disney World, we were riding the bus back from a park and a father and son climbed on board. The boy looked to be about 8-9 years old, stocky and pink cheeked, a little carbon copy of his father. The bus was crowded so they had to stand. As the bus pulled away from the curb, the boy began making loud grunting sounds and tried to get to the door. The dad patiently held him back and spoke quietly to him. This went on for several minutes, most of the people on the bus looking away and trying to be considerate of the father's plight., slightly embarrassed by the boy's actions.
Levi, being a typical 4 year old, stared at the boy. Finally he turned to me, and in his ever loud and chirpy voice, said, 'Mommy, why is that boy doing that?' I looked at him and began to explain that I thought the boy might be autistic, and that sometimes certain situations were too much for him. I asked Levi if he remembered how sensitive his ears were to loud noises, and he said yes. I told him that was what it was like for this boy with everything. Sounds, the motion of the bus, all the people. Right now he is just overwhelmed and probably scared inside. Levi nodded in understanding and then smiled at the boy.
When I was done explaining to Levi, I looked up to see 6 or 7 faces looking at me, smiling and nodding. At the next stop, when some people got off the bus, we invited the dad and son to sit by us. The boy was much calmer sitting and the dad began to apologize and explain that indeed his son was autistic, and although he had done very well all day, he had hit his limit and they just needed to get back to the hotel. I told the dad I thought he did a wonderful job calming his son and how wonderful it was to see them being able to enjoy Disney World.
Maybe, just maybe, I planted the seed in Levi's mind that although people can be different in many different ways, they are exactly as God has planned. God does not make mistakes.


Anonymous said...

You're right, God doesn't make mistakes. Levi has such a good mom. So many parents don't explain to their children why someone may look or act different from what they have yet to experience. This world is a big, big place.. full of much beauty and wonder.

I've been checking your blog all day hoping to see some GOOD news. Really hope you hear something soon!


Hawk said...

I wish more people would try to be as understanding as you were and are teaching your kid to be.

My little cousin is autistic and when we've ridden buses together or he and his sister ride the school bus, people are mean. Grown adults are mean to a 7 yr old little boy simply because sometimes he can't control himself.

I am thankful for people like you who take the time to understan everyone is different.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your caring heart. My son has Tourettes, and makes involuntary body movements and sounds which attract unwanted attention. Most people have no clue what Tourettes is, so they stare, mimmick etc, and it hurts.
It is ok to be differant, and explaination was beautiful.


Anonymous said...

I meant to say your explaination was beautiful.


Ellie said...

You know Wendy...

I SOOOOOOOOO wish you guys were closer! YOU are an AWESOME, COOL, UNDERSTANDING, BRAVE MOMMA... I sure can learn from you~

PS... I am still praying!


Amblin said...

I've read your blog for quite some time but I think this is the first time I posted.

I actually teared up when reading this post. You see, my eldest son is autistic and now that he is older, we get such looks from some people. It was so nice to read about your sweet observations and explanation to your son. I've been to Disney World several times and have been where that Dad was a few times. It is good to know that people care and are compassionate. It's hard when our austistic children get older in years but some of their actions are still very "young".

Anyway, all that to say "thank you!"

Marlene said...

You are going a great job Mom! I strive try to be a good example to my children and encourage them to be kind too.

Kathy & Paul said...

What a great answer! So many parents would just push the question under the rug and tell him to be quiet. If more parents were honest with their children, maybe the next generation would be even more accepting and understanding and compassionate.

Sarah said...


You do such a wonderful job explaining things to your children... He put you here for a special reason too... and that day on the bus is witness to His will for you. You reflected His words and actions for others to see... what a gift to those who were there.