June 11, 2015

The Best Kind of Support: Acceptance and Understanding

This summer were are headed to Florida for vacation.  We are going with some family friends that we haven't seen in about a year.  My dear friend, Angie, hasn't even seen Brandon in about two years.  He's only three and a half now, so he's a totally different kid from the last time she saw him.

Brandon has autism.  I already know the first couple days at the beach house are going to be difficult for Brandon.  He will have just spent a grotesque amount of time in the car, all to be thrusted into brand new surroundings.  Not to mention, the amount of people he will be around at all times is a sensory overload for him.

I tried to explain some of Brandon's quirks to Angie so she could help her own kids understand.  "He is a sweet boy," I told her.  "There's no need for your kids to be nervous or timid around him.  Just let them know that if they're trying to play with him, he may not seem like he's paying attention.  It may seem like he doesn't care about them.  He does.  He just doesn't always show it in the same way."

Completely on her own, she got the movie Temple Grandin and had a family movie night with her husband and kids.  I've never mentioned the name Temple Grandin to her.  She just figured it out, and took action.  Her family sat down and watched this movie so they could better understand how they might interact with this little boy who they love.  Angie wants Brandon to be comfortable, happy, and to have fun on this trip.  She wants to do everything she can to help him enjoy this vacation.  After all, this is his vacation too.

To say I'm touched is an understatement.

This is exactly the kind of support that is helpful to an autism family: acceptance and understanding.

That is love.

PS: Take a look at this clip from Temple Grandin.


  1. That's really sweet. I've never seen that movie but now I really want to. I watched a follow up video of Temple speaking about language and how some children hear language differently. I'm pretty sure that must be how my son hears things. Thanks for posting this!


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