Each day, I push David past his comfort zone. I would guess that almost everything he is asked to do in therapy, plus many of the tasks at school and at home make him uncomfortable. That is the point—to make him more tolerant of new situations and to be more adaptable. He works very hard to articulate his wants and needs, to greet and interact with people and to learn behaviors that we consider "appropriate" but that can be unnerving to him.
Well, I agreed to do the interview because I really do believe in helping people to understand about autism and its challenges, even if helping them "understand" may sometimes mean racing into the Applebee's Restaurant red-faced and out of breath to explain--in perhaps too high pitched a tone of voice why, if you offer curbside take-out service, it is really important to actually come out to the car because when you have a child with autism who is not expecting to go into the restaurant and who then, in fact, does have to go into the restaurant that you should expect the Crocs to fly off of his feet in protest and some running up and down the wheelchair ramp. I am all about politely helping to teach people tolerance and understanding.
I also figured that the news crew would come to do the interview and get a few sound bites from me, but after they saw my smart and exceedingly charming son, most of my footage would end up on the cutting room floor. The teachers were even calling David "Hollywood" at school all day yesterday leading up to the interview. Well, they probably should have referred to David as "Diva" instead, because he did not choose to cooperate and alternated telling the reporter and camera man "Stop…Nope…Go Home…Goodbye!" He even signed each of the words for added emphasis.
The segment is not scheduled until next week, but I have had people calling all day. The promo has aired several times, although I have yet to see it. I guess I can give up the rationalization that no one will realize it is me.
So, once again, David has me out of the zone. Just call it therapy.