Last week when Dominic and I were walking into his music therapy class, I had a mom turn around and give Dominic what I call the "look."
Like some autistic kids, Dominic will randomly start talking to himself. This mom heard him and turned around, shot me a look of disapproval, turned back around and went into the same building as Dominic and I were going into.
Cathy is a homemaker/wife and also mom to a third grade son with special needs, a teenage daughter and a stepmom to an adult son. Originally from the East Coast, Cathy has lived in the Midwest for over a decade. She hopes to use her life experiences to help and inspire others and to put a smile on their face if only just for a moment!
Dominic sometimes (well, a lot of the time) is not a very patient dude and while we were waiting in the hallway, he continued talking to himself. This mom and her kids were also waiting in the same hallway. I think this woman was wishing she was anywhere but where she was. I guess Dominic was making her kind of uncomfortable. She was trying her hardest to pretend that Dominic and I didn't exist.
There is a little girl with some physical disabilities that has music therapy right before Dominic. She comes out of her therapy and has the biggest smile on her face and is so happy. She and I always greet each other :) I wasn't watching the other mom, but I'm sure between this little girl and Dominic we were making her super uncomfortable.
Dominic has been in an inclusive special education classroom since he was three. This past school year, he was mainstreamed in some of his classes. When I was in school, we never interacted with the special education classrooms, it was kept very separate. I remember looking at the kids and wondering what it would be like to talk to them. I think it did them a big disservice to keep them away from the other kids.
I'm glad that times have changed and Dominic has the opportunity to be with typically developing children. It teaches the other kids at his school that not all children "look" and act the same and that it's okay to be different.
To read more from Cathy, visit bountifulplate.blogspot.com