Small steps towards autism acceptance.

Yesterday Leo and I were in our favorite local Latino grocery store, which also happens to be the closest place in town that stocks his beloved Rosa (no really) brand whole wheat tortillas.

During the checkout, Leo was being his usual exuberant self. The Latina cashier greeted him pleasantly, with a genuine smile, and asked his name. He whispered it. Then giggled. She seemed to want to know more about him.

I switched to my crappy Spanish* because I never know how these conversations are going to go, and I don't want Leo to hear people say that they're sorry he exists, and said -- also pleasantly -- "Yes, he's autistic."

Her face fell. But before she could say she was sorry, I shook my head to indicate that she didn't need to feel bad for him, and said with a a smile, "It's not a problem. And with family, everything is possible."

She smiled back, and said "And with God, too." I smiled and nodded, because we all draw on whatever resources power us best.

So that was nice. Not because I think I converted her to any way of thinking, but because she was receptive to hearing about autism acceptance. That doesn't always happen, not with strangers.


*Mali will no longer let me speak Spanish when she's around, because she says my accent sucks. She is not moved by my argument that my accent would suck less, if she'd help me practice.