Randa and Samiya and I went shopping today. We started at Aldi because they had milk on sale. (Oh, yeah.) And she was happy and energetic and laughing and helping push the buggy. Until we reached the third aisle. An elderly lady walked up to Randa and tapped her fingernail on the pink part of her noise-canceling earphones and said, “I like your headphones. Pink is a nice color.”
It was an innocent enough gesture. But what she didn’t realize was that Randa wears these to block noise from her head. When she hears loud noises it hurts her head terribly. It makes her ears throb and she will scream or run or hit or all of the above. Randa immediately responded with the usual Tourette Syndrome-like verbage: “Cut it out, you shit! Stop banging the earphones!” She raised a hand in a threatening manner.
I immediately grabbed both of Randa’s hands and told her, “Randa. It was an accident.” And then told the woman, “I’m sorry. My daughter is Autistic and has sensory overload issues. These headphones are actually noise-blockers and when you tap on the hollow part it hurts her very badly.” The woman apologized and hurried away from us. Samiya and I exchanged worried glances as Randa continued cussing…loudly.
We pushed our buggy to the cashier and Samiya took my keys and said to her big sister, “Hey, Randa. Would you like to come wait in the van with me? Please hold my hand so I don’t get lost in the parking lot.” Randa agreed and took her hand and led her sister to the parked van. I paid for our groceries and then rushed out to the van. I met the woman in the parking lot. I apologized for Randa cussing at her and explained that tapping on the hollow plastic is extremely painful. The woman asked me to apologize to Randa for her and said that she should have known better as she is a dentist and actually works with special needs kids. She had thought that she was listening to music. She smiled and thanked me for explaining and we left. So that was sort of our Austistic Fail for the day. But after that, we had a big, fat Autistic Win.
Samiya decided she wanted “supermarket sushi.” So we swung by another local supermarket that offers fresh sushi. I ran in and got a California roll and 2 eggrolls. I gave one to Randa and handed Sam the other along with her sushi. Randa snarfed down her eggroll and then said, “Ooh, sushi.” Sam offered her a piece…and. Randa. ate. it!
This is a HUGE thing for her. She’s been expanding her palate over the last two years….but SUSHI? HOLY CRAP. That’s 3 or 4 different tastes all rolled together which just….no. Never. I asked her if it was good and she said, “Yes. It’s good.” Sam offered her a second piece but Randa laughed and said, “No, thank you.”
I consider THAT an Autistic Win.