While walking to the store yesterday, some jackass walking in front of us lit off a bottle rocket. When it whistled and banged, Kevin was absolutely terrified. He jumped and screaming and began to cry uncontrollably while pressing his hands over his ears. He nearly collapsed to the sidewalk, but I caught him. I had to pick him up and carry him while he screamed in my ear. I squeezed him and stroked his back in an attempt to calm him. I told him over and over, "It's OK. It's all done now." It took what seemed like ages to get him to stop crying and screaming. And even longer for him to relax enough to be Kevin again.
On the way back home, we walked the same street that this event had happened on. We turned the corner and he tensed up like he was about to be struck. He started making the noise of the firework vocally and flailing his head like it was being knocked about.
This small, seemingly innocuous, however obnoxious and asshole-ish, action has traumatized my child, possibly for the rest of his life. Now, I can't expect those of you that are not autistic to know that he or any other child could react that way any more that you should expect me to keep my child isolated from those who would behave in a manner than might bring out such a reaction. My message, however, is this: Think before you act and speak. You never know what it can do to others. You are never too young (or old) to start being considerate of the world around you.