How do you treat a special needs person?

I have been working a lot of hours lately. Year end at work is always crazy. My dad knows this and he is constantly checking up on me. I love how he always calls to see if we need help with the monkey. He genuinely loves to hang out with him. Last time, I was downstairs in a conference call. When the call ended and I finally came upstairs, my dad and the monkey were wrestling. When my dad saw me, he stopped and got up. He was asking me how the call went. Then my son went over to try to tackle him. And then they were at it again. I have this peace because of his love and acceptance towards my son.

A few days back my sister stopped by. She realized the monkey wanted to go on a drive but I didn’t have a car. She right away said she would take him. She said I didn’t need to tag along that she could handle him but I tagged along anyways. She was telling me that he loves to go thru car washes. She is in a program where she pays a monthly fee for unlimited car washes. She realized the monkey loves to do this, it relaxes him, so she takes him on these special rides, just the two of them. Then afterwards, she gets him chicken nuggets and then they head home. This is their hangout ritual.

They each have a special, unique individual bond with my son. And that’s not very easy to do with kids on the spectrum. You need to devote time, attention to detail, and be very patient. Eventually, when they notice you are there, and they feel comfortable enough to let you in, then they start showing you who they are, their favorite foods, their favorite places to drive, their favorite songs, etc.

Last night my daughter got home from work, noticed the monkey sleeping next to me and right away went towards him, kisses him on the cheek, and wishes him a good night.

I am very fortunate that my son is surrounded by people that take the time to know him, that truly love him.

And there you have it. When you don’t know how to treat a special needs person, look at their family. They will teach you.

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