Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

A Trip To The Playground

Sam is 5 years old and loves to visit the playground. But others often ruin his fun.

Usually, trouble already finds him on the bus on the way to the playground.

As Sam moves to the rhythmical rumblings of the bus, it happens…

The bus screeches to a halt and lets on a horde of bustling and loud people.

Not a problem for you or I, but Sam is different.

The sudden shift from swaying silence into unmoving ruckus hits him like a tidal wave—complete sensory overload.

With no way out, Sam has no choice but to overpower his surroundings. So he takes a deep breath, filling his lungs with air, and lets it all out in an ear-piercing howl.

And after a few seconds of howling, Sam once again finds his peace.

This happens at every stop, no matter how often his mother warns him about what’s to come.

Nowadays Sam wears noise-canceling headphones. But that doesn’t make the abrupt braking of the bus feel any less upsetting.

As soon as Sam arrives at the playground, he runs through the gates and toward the slide. His favorite.

Like a three and a half feet quarterback, he elbows his way through the waiting line of children and climbs up the steps of the slide.

Not every kid appreciates Sam’s enthusiasm. So sometimes Sam’s shoved back. Which results in more howling and occasionally fighting.

Sam doesn’t like to be touched.

Although Sam only wants to glide down the slide over and over again, he never gets the chance.

As he glides down and runs back up the slide in one continuous motion, someone else is already blocking the way. 

Sam doesn’t understand why he has to wait, but he stays calm as long as his mother is there to hold him until it’s his turn.

If enough people know and care about autism, it helps everyone. Even if only a handful actively help.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach