Once Alex was done interviewing , we walked back to grab some coffee. As we walked around this part of the conference, I felt like I was in Disneyland. I met a man that invented a vest that works similarly to Temple Grandin’s Hug Machine, I came across fMRI’s and fancy EEG’s, but what stood out most to me was the level of comfort to just be. This conference was filled with people who ‘got it’ whether on the spectrum or not. It was so beautiful to watch, and I couldn’t help but to fantasize about a world like that. A world that doesn’t notice the difference but does notice all of the amazing things inside the person. Speaking of amazing things, back to the story.
Alex and Noah needed to edit some video and after Susan, Adam and I found some food we headed over to the video room to join them. Susan and I sat down and talked while the guys were intently focused on editing. After a while I walked over and checked out some of the videos and couldn’t help but gush about how professional it all was, especially on the “G-string budget”
Did I mention that Alex has a fantastic sense of humor?!?!
All of the guys did.
It was getting later in the morning and I had to get home, but REALLY didn’t want to leave. I gave myself another hour and I am glad I did. Susan and I met a woman with four children (one or more on the spectrum) getting her doctorate. I have no clue how she is managing it, but she is and I think that it is fantastic. I met a young man (in his teens) who had won a trip to the conference and he was absolutely charming. I also met a wonderful woman from Autism Speaks, please forgive me for not knowing everyone’s name. I was so doped up on cold medicine that morning that I am surprised I remember half of what happened. (a week later my cold turned into pneumonia…blah) Then the next thing I knew John Elder Robison walked in.
He and Alex discussed the conference and what exactly Alex had gotten on video that morning. One of my favorite parts, was when John told Alex, Adam and Noah how proud he was of them.
I just wanted to hug them all!
But I restrained myself….LOL
I did watch John give the guys this amazing lesson on microphone frequencies and how fast sound traveled. It was amazing to watch all of their brilliant minds at work.
I did everything I could not to cry as I thought about all of the challenges associated with autism that our children face that can sometimes cloud how incredible their minds are. But I was also hopeful watching the four of them working together (some on the spectrum and some not.) It was a great dynamic to witness. I did get a chance to talk to John and I thanked him for writing “Look Me In The Eye” and also explained that it was my first peek into what Diego’s world might look like. He was fantastic about it as I’m sure that I was talking way too fast 🙂
Susan and I spent some more time talking, she is doing amazing things for people on the spectrum transitioning out of high school and into college. When it was time for me to leave, I was bursting with love and hope. I got to see and hear that the hard times do get better.
The biggest thing that stood out to me was that I felt like I was with “my people”. I never had to explain what the acronyms I was using meant, or give my quick break down on autism.
Everyone there just knew. It was great!
I am so thankful to Susan, Alex, Adam, Noah, John, and every other person I met for such a life changing experience.