There are some common questions I have been asked over the past three years in relation to autism and my son. One common question I like being asked is whether my child has any special skills, interests or talents.
Many people with autism have a deep interest in certain topics or activities. My son is a person with passionate interests! Sometimes these interests are referred to as obsessions, depending on how they are perceived. Autism expert Paula Kluth writes in her book ‘You’re Going to Love This Kid!’, that people with autism might be commonly interested in electronics and transportation, but some interests may be more unique like those of Sean Barron, a man with autism, who has a great interest in the number 24, and a fascination with dead-end streets. Fascinating fascinations!
My son loves numbers and the beach, he is good at directions and amazing at technology. Kiddo’s number one enduring passion to date however is riding on his scooter at the skate park. Riding the scooter is a fairly mainstream interest these days for boys (and a few girls) who like to push the limits. Having a more mainstream interest does help a lot with inclusion. My son’s passion of choice has certainly been embraced, encouraged and managed by my hubby and myself. Sometimes the ‘managing’ part has been a challenge for me…my son is FAST and FEARLESS! I definitely have a few extra grey hairs from it all but I am grateful my kiddo (and my hubby) love this activity. My hubby has his own scooter and rides with my son. I now know about quarterpipes, half pipes, bowls and ramps. I know what qualifies as a great skate park and which ones should be avoided. I also know what to look for in a decent pair of skate shoes, skate clothes, scooters, wheels and helmets.
This skatepark-ing passion has swept up our little family and has taken us pretty much all over the metro area, into the countryside, down south and was even incorporated into an overseas trip to the USA earlier this year. I’m not sure how long this passion will last, but for now my son has found something that makes him happy, that he is good at, and that makes the other skater-kids think he is AWESOME.
These are some of my favourite pics from our recent skate-park adventures! Brownie points to those who can pick the Las Vegas Skatepark…think hot…