Shanell Mouland, mother of a three year old child, shares her experience of raising an autistic daughter on a blog. Recently, her and her family took a trip to Disney World and on the plane, had an experience like no other. When flying, a business man sat next to Shanell's daughter but rather than acting uncomfortable he chose to engage with her. Little did he know, few actually took the time to do so. The next day, Shanell posted this letter to her blog.
Dear "Daddy" in seat 16C Flight 1850 From Philly:
The moment you sat down, Kate started to rub your arm. Your jacket was soft and she liked the feel of it. You smiled at her and she said: “Hi, Daddy, that’s my mom.” Then she had you.
You could have shifted uncomfortably in your seat. You could have ignored her. You could have given me that ‘smile’ that I despise because it means; ‘manage your child please.’ You did none of that. You engaged Kate in conversation and you asked her questions about her turtles. She could never really answer your questions but she was so enamored by you that she keep eye contact and joint attention on the items you were asking her about. I watched and smiled. I made a few polite offers to distract her, but you would have none of it.