For years, recess was a sensory nightmare for my autistic nephew. I watched him pace around the perimeter of the playground alone. Enter our gifted consultant. She told me to be out of sight, and let him fall apart and let him and his friends pick up the pieces. I was horrified. Let him cry? Let him scream? Really?
As a very enthusiastic auntie, I was forever taking pictures of my nephew trying to help him remember all the fun things we did. But guess what? In my desperation to capture a happy memory, I was losing my ability to read his body language and truly empathize.