There are many people who still do not understand what Autism is, how it affects a family and the challenges a child or adult is facing or will face when stepping out in the real world. Tolerance, acceptance, education are still high priorities. I am amazed with all the Autism Awareness Campaigns out there, and Niam being part of a successful National Campaign with Samsung Canada, there are still many out there, who just lack the patience and understanding.
Today I was grocery shopping at Longos with Niam, his eye caught the attention of balloon displays all over the fruit and vegetable section of the grocery store. Niam loves balloons, what kid doesn’t? The sparkly aluminum balloons glistening and reflecting in the store light, caught Niam’s attention, in his mind, he had decided he wanted ALL the balloons. Niam proceeded to take ALL the balloons. The staff all went haywire, and came one by one to tell Niam he could not have the balloons. I could have interfered and said he has Autism, and go into my long memorized narrative about Niam, instead I watched in amusement from the sidelines, chuckling to myself, as Niam paid no attention to the lady telling him he could not have the balloons, he proceeded to take them anyways, she shrugging her shoulders and head in disbelief; following her came two other men who also tried to speak to him and tried to take back their balloons ( you would think they were made of real gold). At that point, I calmly came to Niam’s aid, told him he could have one, and proceeded to put the others back. I saw a man who looked like the manager watching, he didn’t say anything to me, but I wanted to ask him, isn’t it obvious Niam has Autism, can’t your staff tell, obviously not, otherwise you would not be here after the BALLOON THIEF.
Upon check out I offered to pay for the balloon, and thought wouldn’t it be great to have a PAY IT FORWARD AUTISM BALLOON FUND. Any bankers out there who would like to start a bank account?
Perhaps I should carry a card, that describes Niam’s “condition” to hand out, or put a large sign on his Shirt – or perhaps I should just say what I am thinking – but that could get me arrested – but than again – there is always the Ontario Autism Coalition to call, so I think I’ll just stand back in the sidelines, watch and let my son enjoy his life.
Don’t forget to check out our other website for Autism Education Resources for Free Printable Worksheets and Autism Cooking.
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