Our son's vocal tics are often severe. During a recent flare, we decided not to attend a play we were planning on seeing. Twice recently, at different concerts, I have asked the person in charge if it is okay for us to sit in empty box seats. We didn't want other paying customers to be distracted or disturbed by Seth's noises. And we didn't want anyone to turn and glare at him for something he can't control.
On each occassion we were met with understanding and compassion. Our kids felt super cool getting to sit up high, away from the crowd.
Kids with special needs offer the general population opportunities to demonstrate kindness. Most of the time, people rise to the occasion.
With so much seemingly wrong in the world today, it's little things like this which make me feel hopeful.
Michelle O'Neil is author of Daughter of the Drunk at the Bar. She's written for many publications including Literary Mama, two special needs anthologies, a professional journal for occupational therapists, and her radio pieces have aired during NPR's Morning Edition in Washington, DC. She has an 11 year old daughter with Asperger's and a 9 year old son with auto-immune issues which appear to be PANDAS. She blogs at www.fullsoulahead.com.