Autism Today Foundation

The Magic Boat

Autism has brought the greatest sense of humor to our family as well.  It is not every parent who deals with the stress of having a child with a disability as confusing and frustrating as autism.   Often, however, I consider myself one of the luckiest parents I know.  Not a day goes by that some “odd” behavior does not make me chuckle with my son Kian.  He is an extraordinary person  whose s often as having a child with autism makes you worry, wonder, and pull out your hair, I must say, iextraordinary actions bring a whole lot of joy to my otherwise ordinary life.  

One occasion that comes to mind when I think of Kian’s sense of humor is one that also involves a combination of his love of music and his love of swimming.  On a busy afternoon, while my youngest son was napping, and my husband was working, I was doing dishes, washing laundry and trying to get dinner ready.  So, I decided to let Kian play in his playroom while I called to him from the kitchen.  He was happily singing a favorite song of his that he learned from the movie “Puff the Magic Dragon.”  I am not sure what the exact title of the song is but our family has dubbed the song, “The Magic Boat.”  Kian sang it beautifully all day and night and occasionally I still hear him singing it six years later.  

Although he was just a few feet away and I was quite attentive to his very loud singing, I noticed a rather “odd” silence, followed by a lot of laughing and then a lot of splashing, coming from the playroom which coincidentally contained my washing machine.  I immediately jumped into the room and saw my four-year-old beautiful boy completely naked, splashing around in the washing machine and singing, “Let’s Cross the Ocean in a Magic Boat and Sail Across the water.”  A Kodak moment that only I got to enjoy firsthand.  I laughed and laughed and still laugh as I recall it now.  

Not only does the memory of this moment in my life bring back joy and laughter, it also reminds me of a philosophy I have learned from Kian.  It helps me get through the rough times that we all share when our child struggles.  If we think of this disorder and start feeling down, we have to remember, the only way to get through to the other side without drowning is to splash around and sing and ride the magic boat to a magical place where our child likes to visit.  A place that autism does not take away from anyone, not the child, not his siblings, not even you. 

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