Jennifer's most righteous and spot-on rant would have made me spew on my beautiful new laptop screen had coffee been in my mouth. If you have a child with autism and had never had a close encounter of the worst kind with a complete stranger who supposedly knows more than you, consider yourself blessed. When Pamela was younger, I had my share of embarassing meltdown moments (like the time Pamela did the Indy 500 around the altar at church ten minutes before the service was to start). Today, we get odd looks and occasional knowing smiles because Pamela is much more comfortable in her skin and I am better at not placing her in extremis.
Jennifer reminded me of a recent incident at Wal-Mart. We were at the self-checkout again where we practice our RDI objectives and the clerk told me, "Wow! Your daughter has really made progress. I remember when you first started teaching her how to scan at the self-checkout." Can you believe a positive experience with a complete stranger?
Also, a few weeks ago our neighbors joyfully shared another incident. They are wonderful people and very encouraging of our efforts to homeschool our teens. The neighbor told me that Pamela was sitting on the back porch rocking. Pamela waved, greeted him, and said, "I'm waiting for my mom to go to Wal-Mart." Can you believe it? She *wanted* to engage in a brief conversation without any prompting. She just had to share that tidbit with the neighbor. Pamela is not one of those chatty kids who opens up to anyone. Six months ago, I would have had to pry that out of her in front of a neighbor.