Griffin, 4, has autism and a deep curiosity to explore places where he shouldn't be -- all of our cabinets, no matter how high, the top of the refrigerator, the inside of a stranger's unlocked car, the tub of the dryer. You could say he's part spelunker or mountain goat. In autism lingo, he's an "eloper."
All of the things we want for our child have a real chance of manifesting when we accept their behaviors rather than fear them. It's like the wall of tension we created gets toppled, and we actually create a bridge for our child to connect with us. And when that bridge is built, they are not only reachable, but they reach out to us.
I first started using YouTube with Evan a few years ago to help him prepare for a visit to a drive-through Christmas light festival. He has a lot of anxiety over going someplace new and not knowing what to expect. We watched a few amateur videos other people took of the light festival so that when it was time for us to go he knew exactly what to expect.
While the numbers are startling, they should not be very surprising. Bullies prey on those that are not capable of defending themselves, so no matter how much I prepare my neuro-typical son and daughter to stand up to bullies, the fact is that they are not going to be their target. My oldest daughter however, will. She is autistic and may not be able to apply this "bootstrap mentality" suggested by the meme.
My whole existence is to ensure my family's success. At times, that will mean that my princess makes too much noise in public. More often than not, I will get it wrong and make matters worse -- sorry, I'm new to this. We are trying to give our princess the best possible life -- and I wouldn't change this for the world.