The next summer, in England, Max spent a lot of time on his Daddy's shoulders. One day, when we visited his Grandfather in Wales, Max refused to enter the house because he knew there were dogs inside one the rooms. He ate his dinner in my father in law's car.
He's also afraid of balloons. So much so that for a long time we could not take him to birthday parties. When his best friend at school turned 7 this year, I called her parents and explained. They cleared all the balloons off the floor and left but a few stuck on the ceiling. Max loved it. Last month we took a very eager Max to another party in the same place, but forgot to call the parents. He so wanted to play, but he just could not make himself stay in a room filled with balloons. No matter how hard he tried.
Then there's planes. Last year we nearly had to cancel our month long vacation in Europe because he would not get inside the plane. Then we were nearly stranded there. This year we tried again - a shorter trip. On the way back, at first he refused to go in. But hey, we could catch a train or bus back. He lied down on a bench in the airport, covering his ears and said:
'Max is a little bit afraid of planes'.Autistic kids find it hard to talk of their emotions, so this was a big deal, being able to speak of his fear while in the midst of a pretty big outburst of it.
Max was afraid of my relatives. For a long time he would not even let me talk of his aunts or his grandmother, sweet as they've always been to him, and he refused to see them. But a couple of weeks ago, he was so happy to spend time with my sister and her family, and now rushes to the computer if they are on Skype. And yesterday, when I told him that not only his father would be going away for a week, but also that his grandmother would visit during that time, instead of freezing, denying, crying, he smiled, delighted and said:
'Will she bring Max a present of a plane?'
This is my entry for this week's mash up of The Gallery and The Writing Workshop
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