Like many kids on the spectrum, David is non-verbal. He isn't able to utter two words together or use a word on command.
There is the rare instance when he does use words. Like today.
Our town's St. Patrick's Day parade was held today. We live at the end of the parade route. We took David to the parade last year. It was crazy cold last year. If I remember correctly, the temperature was about 30 degrees with a wind chill factor of what the heck are you doing outside.
David wasn't aware of anything happening at the parade last year, well, other than the cold.
This year was completely different. We left home to walk around the corner to see the parade. When we turned the corner, we were instantly greeted with hundreds of parade goers. It sounded like David said, What's that? I told him it was the parade. The parade for St. Patrick's Day. David walked into the crowd. He looked at the vendor stands and all the people. We walked a bit further to the parade route. David was looking for a way in, to see the parade. I found an opening in the temporary fencing and we sat on the curb and watched the parade.
David really enjoyed it. He loved the Batmobile and Batman. The Batmobile was burning rubber right in front of us. David cheered when others around him cheered. The sounds of the drums didn't seem to bother him.
Sometimes, I don't want to take David out. I mean, I feel bad for feeling that way. What kid doesn't like a parade or a trip to the zoo?
It's just so much work for an experience that may end in frustration and tears.
Today was a good experience. When I had to get David ready to go, I asked him if he wanted to go out to the parade. He was pretty cooperative when we were getting ready. He tried to open the front door before his shoes and coat were on. That was ok. He understood that we were going out. A year ago, he wouldn't have responded to my words that way.
I have decided to change my attitude. If I expect nothing, I get nothing. From now on I will expect to have a positive experience when we go out.