My Dad asked me to jump on the blog today and thank everyone who supported our Team - Diego's Friends - at the 2011 Walk Now For Autism at the Rose Bowl this past weekend, and to share a few words about my own thoughts and experiences of the day with all of you.
Don't let this picture fool you. I'm not hiding behind that red balloon because I'm shy or anything.
I just wanted to see what the world looked like all in RED. Pretty interesting. They say kids with Autism tend to see the world differently. I wonder if this is what they mean?
Large crowds and loud noises can sometimes be overwhelming to kids like me who are on the spectrum and have a hard time with SENSORY INPUT and SELF REGULATION and other ways in which the brain organizes and makes sense of the environment around me; but I've been coming to the Rose Bowl for 4 straight years now, and each year it seems I get more chill; at least that's what I hear my Mom and Dad proudly tell the other adults.
Me, I was feeling pretty excited.
Mom's good friend Maiz came out to walk with us with her son, and Dad wanted us all to pose for a Team Picture. But as you can see, I was much too busy taking care of business trying to wrestle away Maiz's son's super-cool blaster-shaped balloon to stand still for any posed group photograph!
What were you thinking, Dad?
I think I'll try it myself.
Yep. I was right.
Being Spiderman might actually be something I could get used to.
Hmmm. I thought everyone knew how to draw Spiderman, but it looks like next year I might have to bring the nice lady a comic book so she can have some reference to draw upon.
I guess I really should take a moment here to give props to all the great teachers and aides and therapists who have worked so hard to help me and my friends overcome some of our unique challenges.
Or maybe I'd rather take off running to go see the Yo Gabba Gabba-looking dude with all the gym equipment.
Climbing up was fairly easy. But now what?
Thanks for the help, Gabba-man.
But with all the cutbacks in school budgets these days, I'm just not getting the OT hours that I used to!
(But, hey, confidentially, what's up with all of that new-age "sharing" and "taking turns" stuff she's always trying to peddle to me? Doesn't she know that siblings are supposed to be rivals?)
My hats off to whoever invented these little individual rest stops for children with special needs. The small space and ball-filled seating area were just the right space for my over-taxed sensory system to take refuge and chillax. Sorry, Dad, that it was so hard to get me out of there, but do you think we could get one of those for home?
Speaking of special, it was pretty special that our friends Ellen and Henry showed up at the end of the walk to hang out with us. Henry is just about to graduate from sixth grade and you'd think he'd have a lot of other things on his mind and places to go on a Saturday rather than to come and hang out with a kindergartener and patiently listen to me recite the ad copy and theme song from the latest Chips Ahoy commercials I watch on YouTube.
But there he was - and wearing a Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah t-shirt no doubt.
Now that's what I call a good friend, and one that epitomizes the spirit of everyone who came together and supported our team -Diego's Friends!
Hey, that's ME!
P.S. Dad said our team raised almost $17,000 for autism research this year! And that the Walk altogether raised over $1.3 Million Dollars for Autism Speaks, the sponsor organization. Pretty cool, but with all that cabbage floating around I still can't understand why Dad said we couldn't afford that new Lego Adventure set I want! What's up with that? I've got Special Needs, I told him!