Inclusion Zone

Boo watching Sushi TV in "Yo! we make crappy Sushi but great noodles"
And yes, he did make a grab for gold hello kitty after I took photograph. Staff not impressed but not as bad as the day he played with Ganesha in Mila's.
(Waiter speaking in Apu voice "Please do not play with my god"

Boo absolutely loving the little water taps at each station.
Believe it or not he went for the Tempura crab claws.
Eating the claw then the flesh, but leaving the batter!

Some of you may wonder why I like to put pictures of my kids out and around Dublin; on my blog so often.

It is not, as you may suspect: a really good way to fill a post and get comments on how good looking they both are (true) - but a way of communicating that being out and proud with a pair of very autistic small people is not only possible, but fun!

And while I would like to say it is my way of trying to push the envelope for acceptance of diversity in our society. Truth be told it is just too hard for me to be house bound and hide away. I love going out, I love my kids. Ergo - we go out.

Okay, it works better when I only have one at a time. They are not pulling me in divergent directions and as they both have such different ideas of what constitutes a fun outing, it is better to have an Angel or Husband to entertain the other.

It is also better to find common ground - stuff that you both will enjoy.

Bratty likes chicken nuggets, walking and any activity involving water. She hates to "eat in" in restaurant, preferring her home, or car for dining. I hate chicken nuggets, but I like walking and love swimming. So that's what I do with Bratty. Then we get drive-thru.

Boo likes Movies, Noodles and shopping for movies. He is okay about eating in, but a bit messy. He hates clothes shopping and walking without a clear destination.

So I bring him to the movies, sometimes just to watch the end of a film and the credits. And I can take him for noodles in busy cafes and get the kind of food I like at the same time. We compromise on shopping for Dvds, in return for a small amount of clothes trying in an emptyish shop (like The Gap)

Together, we all get a day out, and I get a chance to develop their social skills a bit further.
We also go to the same places all the time and the people who work there get used to us.

And I have to say that people can be very bloody nice and helpful. Dundrum Cinema, McDonalds Bray, Siam Thai in Dundrum and The Glenview Hotel - this means you!.

Sometimes I tell them, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I don't need to, they either know or they don't have to.

Either way, our world stretches, and hopefully their appreciation of diversity does too.

Try it. You might like it.


Anonymous said…
Hey Hammie, I will have to take a leaf outta your book anf hence avoid the tragedy this Sunday, that was the meltdown , why? I have learned that Jospeh does not like Hannah Montana. And he's meant to be the one with the learning issues?? Dougal x
Lisamaree said…
Fr Dougal, I don't blame him. xx
(I am steeling myself for Transformers II this Sunday)
Clive said…
Great post!

Just read it after I had just posted something a bit similar about being out and about - spurred on by trying to get through Dundrum Towm Centre this morning!

Love Yo Sushi by the way!
Anonymous said…
I bet it took a lot of trial and error to land on those compromises! Glad you can all - or most - hit the town together and enjoy yourselves.
jazzygal said…
Great Post. You are so right to get out and about, choosing what each can tolerate and pushing them that little bit.
I remember avoiding so many things, shopping restaurants etc in the early days. But, all in good time and little by little.

I've never been brave enough to try Yo Sushi though Snuggles remarks on it each time we pass by. He's so fussy. Maybe I should push him.I know he'd like the water taps too!! He also loves credits at end of movies too... we're always the last ones in the cinema! xx J
Nan P. said…
Hammie (and Jazzy), I know this post is not about fims, and end of films, and film credits, BUT I too like to see a film until the very end. The music is part of the film, and I like to sit, and wait until everyone goes, and still steep myself in the music... Might meet you both there one day!

And the odd time, there is a "funny" at the end, THAT is the added bonus for the very few who stay till the end.

Interesting post.
Make Do Style said…
Awh thats so cute. I love you being out and about! Could Boo not have tried harder for the gold hello kitty. Next time you should distract the waiter!
WendyB said…
OT: You're on the blog roll! Sorry you weren't already there.
Petunia said…
Fab post Hammie :) I drag the Munchkin out all the time and have found things she likes to do and places she loves to go (like the drop in creche in Dundrum Town Centre) The staff in there are amazing and very understanding of her aspergers. Quite often you will find angels in places you least expect to find them. One staff member in particular there has gone out of her way to ask more about autism which I find refreshing. I feel confident leaving her there and enjoy a little retail therapy or a relaxed coffee while she covers one of the staff members in paint! xx
Great post!

I love your open and honest style of writing, and the character insight that you show to those of us unfamiliar with autism. That you so much for sharing :)
Jules said…
Love the post. And i am loving that little water taps station too. So cute! =D
Thanks for sharing, have a good day.=D

A Writers Den
The Brown Mestizo
Anonymous said…
I'm with you on this.
I love taking my son to "Old Mc Donalds" where is sings or hums aloud and attracts attention, only because he has such a great singing voice!
I love his quirky little observations and the way he puts an item on the checkout desk and says to the assistant "there you go". And yes sometimes the outings don't go so well and sometimes I have to explain. But each week it's getting better and better! Milly.
The Spicers said…
I love the photos of your kids out and about Hammie. You are inspiring!
Casdok said…
Like you i like to show photos of C and i out and about to show parents that it can be done and as you say fun (most of the time!)
Anonymous said…
That looks like a great restaurant, lots of visual interest for the kids too. "Stretching their world" just brilliant Hammie - more parents need to think like you!
Anonymous said…
HI there

You give me hope that one day we will ALL go out for a meal and enjoy it. And as for crab claws...words fail me...