Just seeing this picture and it’s caption brings me to tears of gratitude as I think of–the kindness of strangers and friends who have seen little man in meltdown mode in public and drop whatever they are doing to help. (Not defiance meltdown–usually–but sensory overload meltdown…BIG difference.) Doesn’t happen much these days, but it does happen. Too tired, full moon, too much sugar, not enough exercise, fluorescent lights, loud music, standing too close to him, changing directions in our usual route…could be a slight breeze and POOF we are in the battle of our lives in the middle of Walgreens. A sensory meltdown is like that–it seems to come out of nowhere–like a tornado touchdown in the middle of a picnic lunch. Each time we go somewhere and Isaiah is calm, it is a miracle. Each time we have to change a plan and he doesn’t have a meltdown, it is a miracle. He is a MIRACLE! Being in a store or busy public places–even church–can be very overwhelming for a child with autism.
We stay home a fair amount because our little guy is at his best at home–his toys, his own peaceful sanctuary. And yet, the very best thing for him is to experience new things. We go places because every time we do he overcomes and can expand his comfort zone (and mine)! It does take some planning, but we have expanded our list of places that we like to go and he and I came up with a list of 100 places to go this summer! And with God’s help, we have gone many of those places already!
On behalf of mommas and the poppas of special needs kiddos who are having a screaming session, don’t just do something–stand there! Yep-just stand there! Even if you don’t know what to do, come on over and stand there. There have been many times when I was in the middle of a store and have had to do a restraint hold. It isn’t cute. It may look like I’m a child abuser as my child fights to break free from my wonder-woman grasp, and I fight back tears of great frustration as my strength wanes. Sadly, there have been countless pairs of shoes who have shuffled by, while I was below on those tile floors. And there have been the shoes that have stopped. Those were not the shoes of a creepy stranger–instead their presence told me, “You’re not alone. I see you in the battle.” They didn’t need to have advice, they didn’t quote any scripture. They stood.
Well, speaking of scripture, Isaiah 52:7 says,
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!””
The feet of those stopping by in those moments brought good news, peace and a sense of God’s goodness. It was a tangible reminder to me that God sees the battle and He reigns.
We can all be there for someone else…to see beyond our own agenda to be the feet of those who bring the goodness of God to those in a hurting world.
As we in Minnesota say, “Gotch yer back.”