This involves a whole other topic for another blog at another time but to say that church and individuals of those churches have been unwelcoming, unkind and hurtful would be an understatement but I digress... Friday night Maggie and I went to Shabbat at Temple Israel and were greeted with a genuine welcome. We moved seats twice before I found a seat Maggie was comfortable with. The first was near the back for a quick escape, but it was to close to the bright lights, she was not happy about that. Then we moved closer towards the vaulted ceiling and she liked the natural sunlights so this was our temporary spot. Once the music started it was... Sensory Overload... So I moved us again to the balancy and she did alright for a few minutes... So like I have done a hundred times we walked around and looked at pictures while listening to the service. I was able to hear a beautiful and timely sermon from the head rabbi, a woman, and about that point was when Maggie was DONE! And I know done when I see it. Only problem was I left our bag of books and cereal on the pew. By this point 4 people had said Hi, Shabbat Shalom to not only me but to Maggie, offered crayons and stickers, one older gentlemen even offered to walk around with her - all of these small and forgetful to some gestures meant the world to me! Just when I was debating how I would retrieve the bag a woman came up to me and offered Maggie a board book and showed us where the refreshments were. As I poured the grape juice for Mags she started asking questions about what Maggie likes and doesn't like. Offered suggestions on how they could accomidate, example being, setting up a live camera feed into the chapel where there are few lights and only ever a couple people. Then she took us on a tour and showed me the classrooms for religious school and told me about how all children are not only welcomed but taught the best way they learn - which is huge for an autistic child - She was so kind and I told her how grateful I was that she was being so kind, so accomidating. I should probably go even further to express how this has never happened before next time! When we were leaving Maggie was happy and bouncing and laughing even - It wasn't until we reached the car that I realized Maggie didn't completely meltdown.
An unexpected and completely needed successful outing! All because of Grape Juice and a board book.