An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Keep calm, and you might end up surprised.

Today has been a rough day to say the least and the boys were extra hyper and “disconnected” through out it all too which didn’t help. At one point in the day, while trying to lead them back to the car safely even though I was reduced to having to use my cane to be able to just keep walking and David kept taking off running, I found myself confronted by a man walking along side us who made a comment that cut deep and stung sharply.

Although my first thought was of what I could “bite back” with so to speak, I got a gut feeling that I needed to check my emotions and just ignore the comment. I am glad I did too. Less than a minute later, the same man helped us by letting me know when the road was clear around a dangerous corner of the sidewalk after having interfered with David’s latest attempt to dash off into what would have been the middle of the alley road. When I thanked the man for his help, a conversation started and it became clear that although his earlier words may have been very poorly chosen, his heart was in the right place. He just didn’t know how to say things right. A conversation even started about Autism and the struggles kids like David and families like ours face due to the lack of danger awareness and the bolting tendencies.

By the time we reached my car, I ended up feeling blessed and was thankful for this man crossing our path. Yes his initial words were painful and stung deep, but by swallowing the urge to make a comeback, I was blessed with the chance to see a diamond in the rough so to speak and have my day brightened even if for a small moment. Not to mention the help received in getting David the rest of the way to the car safely. Help I wouldn’t have received if I had chosen to speak curtly and cold in reply to the man’s first comment.

The whole incident served as a reminder that harsh and rash judgement isn’t just something that others do to us and our children. If we’re not careful, and mindful of our attitudes and words, we can become the judgmental ones and as a result, end up missing out on wonderful opportunities to meet good and kind people. Even if their wording abilities may be a little off.  ; ) : )


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