It all started with seeing a picture of a friend’s cute kids at an Easter egg hunt. I panicked. Shoot! did I miss them?? Oh, my girl is going to be soooo upset. So I took to the internet and quickly breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that they hadn’t all happened and a ton were set for the Saturday before Easter. I was checking the age groups because our littlest will be two soon and able to enjoy the concept of an egg hunt. They had groups for kids all the way up to 5th grade. Then it hit me.
My son is in 5th grade. But I can only imagine the whirlwind of girls and boy snagging up every egg, not withstanding the eggs right in front of a kid. Would my son get anything? I know he would know what that meant. He just needs a slower pace to be able to find the eggs. In the past, the places we went allowed him to hunt for eggs with the little kids heats. But he is so big now. I can only imagine there might be a few outspoken adults who have no filter, and object for all to hear. There are a few of these in every gathering. Even if it is just a passive aggressive reminder that this is for the small kids. It doesn’t even matter to some that he has autism. All they see is that he might take potential eggs that belong to their kids.
I started searching for places that had a special needs group time. There were NONE. Maybe one 40 miles away, but everywhere else…none. How is it that even though people know that autism is here, with gusto and sadly it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere anytime soon, they forget to include them in their events. It is not that complicated to add on an extra heat for these kids. Special needs goes so far beyond autism. Seizures, illness, downs syndrome, wheel chair bound…Why is it fair that they have to sit on the sidelines, watching their siblings, wishing they could be like the other kids and do that too? Why is it fair that parents with only special needs kids in their household have to avoid Facebook for a few days only because there are so many pictures posted of other people’s children holding baskets full of Easter eggs, with huge smiles, while the status talks about how much fun they had?
For me this year, I will once again boldly ask the organization that is sponsoring the event (usually a church) if my son could be a part of the smaller age group or have a little corner sectioned off for him during the actual age group for him. He is a valuable human being, just like anyone else, and he deserves to participate in things like this, just like any other kid. Maybe this sounds whiny. I’m not concerned with that. Until you experience it, you just don’t know the crushing sadness that overwhelms you. It’s already depressing that you even have to ask for the special change to their rules.
God bless those churches, because without hesitation they made accommodations for him.
As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.
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