A HAIRY KIND OF THANKFUL
I’m not sure I’ve ever been this thankful in my life.
Yesterday, my son was able to do something he has wanted to do for the vast majority of his life – something that his disability has stopped him from doing up until now.
Long story short, Billy’s hearing is hypersensitive. It’s insanely hypersensitive. It rules his life with an iron fist (or maybe it’s a very delicate spiderweb lace glove…)
While he is also autistic, autism, per se, is not the thing that impairs his life. He talks, he plays, he tries new things. He doesn’t always succeed, it isn’t always easy, and it sure doesn’t look like the other kids, but he takes it all on.
The hearing sensitivity impairs his life.
One of the things it stopped him from doing was entering the Nocturnal House of our favourite zoo – Taronga Zoo. There is a soundtrack in there (howling, hooting, night-time sounds) and Billy cannot tolerate it – physically or emotionally.
We walk past the Nocturnal House, we stand near the Nocturnal House, we talk about how much we want to go into the Nocturnal House, but we do not enter the Nocturnal House.
Until yesterday. The Great Nocturnal House Day of 2012. A very, very good day.
Billy, aka Mr Eight Year Old Modern Electronic Living, had suggested we try contacting the zoo via Facebook, after we found their awesome Facebook page. His instincts were good. After exchanging a few messages and then emails with the staff at Taronga Zoo, something awesome happened.
Rob, the extraordinary keeper agreed to switch off the atmospheric soundtrack in the Nocturnal House at the zoo. This was miraculous enough, but it didn’t stop there. When we arrived at the zoo yesterday, he asked if I thought Billy would be able to help feed some of the animals.
Does a bilby poo near gum trees?
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