A Special Little Star On The Playground


imageExcuse us today Autism Mamas and Papas.. Today’s post is for our non-Autism readers. I’ve had some questions with regard to Lucky’s difficulties so I thought I would post something for our friends and family who would like to understand Lucky a bit better and what makes him tick or freak out for that matter ☺️

And may I just say, thank you for asking. Thank you for trying to get to know what tickles Lucky and what upsets him and what he can cope with and what he can’t. Thank you for being such amazing friends. And thank you for bringing your kiddos to play with ours.

In the last 18 months we have met many acquaintances and strangers and when it comes to Autism, we can really group them into three categories. 1. The ‘ignores’ – politely removing their children as quickly as possible from Lucky and then moving along swiftly, 2. The ‘opinionators’ – demanding that Lucky should be disciplined and asking us to leave, and 3. The ‘carers’ – gently explaining to their kiddos what to try differently to help playing with our Lucky along.

It is not hard to understand then that this post is written for the carers 😊

Lucky has been diagnosed with high functioning (whatever that means), non-verbal ASD, ADHD and as with other ASD kiddos, he has many sensory integration issues. For a three and half year old boy Lucas has very little language. Once you get to know the kiddo, you’ll understand him. As you can imagine, it is very frustrating for him if he is trying to communicate and nobody understands him. I am convinced that Lucky is an extrovert. Just like all kiddos, he has a personality and loves people (just don’t invade his personal space unless he invites you) and he adores animals!! And Woody is his soulmate, the only person who truly understands him. Lucky loves to socialise. Seeing all the other kiddos at the park, zoo or aquarium makes him so excited. Unfortunately all the excitement, sounds, smells, emotions, wind, sun, facial expressions, fun, et al that is expected from kiddo areas gets way too much for him! And he quickly needs to go into self regulation mode. If he is not in a space where he can self regulate, a meltdown follows.

Still, we have come a very, very long way since he was first diagnosed in South Africa. Eighteen months ago Lucky wouldn’t share a toy, slide or swing with anybody. Thanks to Occupational Therapy and a lot of patience from his siblings’ side, today Lucas is polite (say peeeese and fank youuu velly maaaarsh), sensitive (very worried when somebody is hurt or crying), caring (kisses and hugs his family all day long) and he loves to share toys, and play with his siblings.

He also loves playing with other kids in the park, but that still sometimes turns into a feisty play when the other kiddos can’t understand him. Part of the problem is that Lucky wants to play with the other kiddos, but in his specific way. For example, if he wants a certain kiddo to slide at that very moment, then they must slide, EXACTLY the way he wants them to. And as you all know in the world of toddlerhood, things just don’t happen like that 😀 but at least now he shares ☺️ One step at a time! When Lucky can control a situation, it makes sense to him and that makes him feel safe. When out there in the world, Lucky doesn’t have a lot of situations that he can control so he feels exposed and vulnerable and things just don’t make sense and that scares him… And it scares me to think that my baby feels that way!!! Very much!!!

So, when you bump into Team Lucky at the playground, birthday parties or get togethers, please don’t be afraid. Lucky might look, sound and act different, but he a very special boy who will bring a colourful perspective to playtime and if you give him a chance, he might just surprise the heck out of you ☺️

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