The playground experience.

Sometimes, and I stress the sometimes, there is nothing sadder than going to the playground filled with typical kids with your ASD kid. Yesterday evening was a lovely evening, the perfect evening for a stroll to the park, the swings, the square, for just about anywhere really because it was one of those great Athens evenings: warm weather but with a hint of crispness to come, perfect for kids to be out and about. We split up, the hubby and I and I took Panayioti to the swings while he took Maria to the square. I had initially planned to take him to this park by the highway that most people go to to ride their bikes and walk/run because it’s got lots of green grass for my little man to pull at but as we passed the swings he made a dash for them so swings it is! And it was full of kids, laughing, running, playing kids. Typical kids. Talking kids. Non-stimming kids. My little guy loved it. The whole entire time he had a small, sweet smile on his face. What surprised me the most was that he didn’t cover his ears once and I realized that for the first time in a very, very long time he didn’t get bothered by their ‘noise’. Usually the sound of kids playing, laughing, crying bothers him because he has hyperacussis. But this time, he was ok with everything. He seemed to actually be enjoying being there and we stayed for over an hour. Actually, we were the last ones to leave being that it was close to 9 p.m. While I pushed him on the swings I looked around at the 14-16 kids there and their parents. The majority seemed to know each other, maybe they’re neighbors, maybe they’re pre-school friends. Their kids, aged between 2 and 5, were doing a lot of the activities by themselves. They were getting on the swings by themselves, they were throwing balls back and forth. They were independent. No ‘mands’, no prompts, no taking by the hand. Gosh, I thought, these parents actually have the chance to sit and talk with other adults. How nice it must be, how easy. These kids were talking, asking their parents if they can stay longer, if they can have pizza when they go home, if they can watch t.v. They were communicating. And I got sad. Sorry, but I did. I gave my little guy a big kiss on the cheek and spun him around which brought a huge smile on his face and I asked him if he had a good time as we left. He replied “dada”. I’ll take that as a yes. 🙂

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