October 17, 2008

Explaining abuse to an autistic child.

The circus is in town this weekend, and my husband really wanted to take our son.

While fetchin’ dinner, he told me he saw a group of circus protestors, hanging out across the street of the BOK Center.

He told me they were holding signs that spoke of animal abuse…

If I hadn’t have transitioned to a holistic lifestyle, I wouldn’t be sitting in front of my PC right now, blogging about animal abuse and circuses.

But I did.

And here I am.

Fired up.

How do I explain this to my son?

He doesn’t always grasp the other things I try to explain to him.  But abuse, in all its forms, is something I am ill-prepared for.

How do I look into those amazingly big, brown eyes, and tell him that I’ll never take him to the circus?

That it will be a cold day in hotsville before I pay to see abused animals perform for my or his delight?

That the elephant isn’t trumpeting because she’s happy… she’s trumpeting because she’s been wounded by a bullhook meant to make her “heel” and she’s in pain?

That the lion isn’t wet from water… he’s drenched in sweat from being left in an unventilated boxcar?

That these aren’t ‘zoo’ animals who are loved… they’re animals, illegally captured in the wild, who have been abused from the moment they were stripped of their freedom?

It’s hard enough explaining abuse to a neuro-typical child… it’s even harder when your child is autistic, and cognition isn’t currently one of my son’s strengths.

So, tell me.


How do I explain this to him?

(this video contains graphic content.  It is not meant for the weak.)

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