Beep. Beep. Beep. Beepbeepbeepbeep
That's my A-dar going off. Yes, Autism Radar. I guess it's not just Autism radar, but ALL kinds of sp needs radar. It happens everywhere. Grocery store, restaurants, parks, jacuzzis on a cruise in the middle of the Caribbean, etc. Yep, recently took a great trip (more on that later) and one experience got me thinking about my A-dar and how it's always on. Sure, normie parents can spot a kid with "issues" if they're significant or obvious, but moms like me can spot them even if they're not so significant- and sometimes even if they parents don't even know.
There we were, sitting in a hot tub: me, Greg, Sarah (play tutor extraordinaire), and Little Bird. Well, LB wasn't sitting, she was jumping, swimming, splashing. We were somewhere between Ft. Lauderdale and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Another little boy was in there, too, with his mom. Within about 5 minutes of their entrance, Greg, Sarah and I started giving each other looks. He seemed to get a little too close to others in the pool, didn't make great eye contact, and then came the kicker when he got out.... walking on his toes.
I spoke with his mom. They're from Colorado. Greg suggested they put that kid in ski lessons (can you tell he sells skis/snowboards?) and the mom said he skates and plays ice hockey (he's 5 btw) and that it's been good for his ankles which turn in a little bit (she wasn't familiar with terms like pronate or supinate like we moms are). I dropped hints about my kid's sp needs and she picked up no bait. She doesn't get it. Poor kid is not getting help he obv needs because she doesn't get it. Later in the week we saw them again. greg started talking to her and told her that Little Bird has the big A. She was shocked. So, she doesn't know what it looks like.
Sometimes it's subtle, sometimes it's super obvious. Usually, with us, it's super obvious. However, many people who meet the bird for the first time think she's shy, quiet. As soon as she starts flapping or keeps those fingers in her ears longer than just a "it's too loud in here" kind of thing, there's no denying it- even to the untrained eye.
When my A-dar goes off and I can tell that the parent is "on it", it's a gift to get to spend a few minutes talking with someone who "gets it" like I do; who shares this common experience; and maybe even has a tip or two that's new to me.