On Sunday a very special thing happened in my son's primary class at church. To date most of the other children have been either indifferent to my son, or have outright feared him. One parent in particular seems to be rather fearful of him, or is at least using him as an excuse to have her son moved to another class.
During his class, one young lady's hand was touched by my son, and she immediately freaked out and told my wife, who is also their teacher. My wife, frustrated by the treatment of my son's condition by the previously mentioned parent, decided to huddle the children together and explain autism to them.
She did it in a way that I could not, as I tend to be verbose and in depth when I explain autism. She identified my son's behaviors and lack of speech, asking the children if they have noticed these things. They each said yes, and she explained that he was unable to speak, and uses touch and face contact as a way to communicate.
She then sent the children out into the hall with the other teacher in pairs, and a little boy grabbed my son's hand. My son smiled at him, grabbed his hand back, and the little boy was excited! He declared that he had made a friend, and was happy for the rest of the day.
The children are all four years old, so their understanding is limited to their four years of life experience and what their parents have told them. The exciting thing is that they now get it, they understand that my son is not being bad, he is not trying to be disruptive. He is just trying to communicate with a world that is different than his own. If only the parents of these children were in that situation, and were as willing to accept my son for who he is.
What a message for Easter, a time of renewal, Spring, and a focus on those things that bring us closer to each other after the cold separation of Winter. For me, this was the most memorable Easter I have ever had.