It came from a sad experience seven months ago. We were at a movie theater and for the first time my son was attempting to speak.
A gentleman with two children was sitting a few rows away from us. He approached me and spoke very nasty to me because my little boy was doing echolalia. He was imitating many phrases that he heard on the screen. To me, it was a miracle. My son was attempting to speak. He had been non-verbal. To him, it was an annoyance. Even though it wasn’t in a loud voice.
He comes close to me while I had my little boy in my arms and said that he couldn’t enjoy the movie, that my son was disturbing him. Mind you it was a children’s movie. He said that he would go to the manager and have us kicked out of the theater.
My husband attempted to grab him by the neck, but I didn’t let him. I couldn’t, I didn’t want my other 3 children to think that violence is the answer or the solution to any problem.
I ran to the manager in tears to inform him of the situation, he told the cops who were patrolling the area. The man was escorted out of the theater through the back door. They wanted to avoid confrontation between my husband and him.
The cops insisted on arresting him but I didn’t let him. I think he was going to have an attitude adjustment after the embarrassment he suffered in front of his children. One of the officers happened to be a parent of a special needs child. He insisted on handcuffing the man and throwing him in the back of the patrol car.
I felt compassion for the kids that were with him, and for the ones that were with me. The manager gave us free tickets, popcorn and snacks. I was thankful but that was not my intention. I was simply trying to avoid a violent incident. And although I was heartbroken, I didn’t let my anger and the other emotions take over.
I felt terrible and I cried for three days. I felt my heart was broken in tiny pieces. How could an adult with children of his own, express himself that away and treat a defenseless little angel so mean? He didn’t bother to ask questions, didn’t bother to use manners, he chose to be just plain ignorant and inconsiderate.
I prayed for forgiveness and I wrote this story for my little boy.
* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism experience.