The Simple Pleasures of Autism

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Article first published as The Simple Pleasures of Autism on Technorati.Boy with Autism enjoying a swing in the back yard.Today, as I sit out here in my back yard for the first really nice day in months and watch my sons play, I'm reminded of what family life is all about. I have my youngest son playing in the dirt, a common sensory activity in our family. My oldest is running back and forth from the swings to the dirt, trying to get as much sensory in as he can.Having good sensory activities has been the goal, and it's. Even working. I'm sitting on a bench that oversees the entire yard to be sure they are completely safe, and all I can hear is the happy squealing of my sons.The yard isn't anything special, having. Even torn apart so many times by digging, trampling, and general playing by the boys and their cousins. The only plants that have survived our family has been the grape vines, the roses, spearmint (great mosquito repellent, by the way), and some wild snap dragons who refuse to die. But it's a great place for the boys to play when they need to get out of the house.So when I think about Autism, I think about the fun things in our back yard, and how much our boys enjoy them. I think about the fun squeals, the joy of exploration, and the fun they have while playing. It's times like these that I wonder if there truly a difference between children with Autism, and those without.And that's the thing about children with Autism: they are just children who happen to have a brain wired different than other children. But they have the same desires, same needs, and same pleasures. Treating them differently doesn't help them, and often frustrates them.So as I sit in my backyard and enjoy the evening with laughing children, I think of them as children. My children, who just want to be kids.