Hugging isn't something that a lot of Autistic kids like to do. Physical contact can sometimes be difficult for people with Spectrum disorders. With kids especially, they often don't know how to communicate their needs, and with sensory issues, it can be too much. But like almost everything with Autism, there are those who are just the opposite of the norm.
When it comes to affection, Ciaran is not a typical Autistic child. Since he was a baby, my little guy has been a hugger. When he was really little, I'd pick him up and he's just put his head down on my shoulder and snuggle in. Even now, he seeks out hugs, freely gives and takes kisses, and is very affectionate.
I don't know if this is yet another thing that is influenced by the fact that he has older siblings who are, like thier mother, affectionate with him, or if it's just who Ciaran is. I lean toward the second explanation, but both explanations could be true.
Autism has not been the easiest diagnosis to live with. Most people have four year old sons who talk to them about their day, or the things that they love. Ciaran may tell me about something that he loves, but he's limited. His way of telling me how much he enjoys his Thomas the Tank Engine train is by holding it in front of my face and yelling "Thomas" repeatedly. Fun.
There is no give and take, with Ciaran. No conversations about his favorite story book. No made up songs, or imaginary adventures for my little four-year-old. There are so many things that he can't do. Yet. But in the meantime, I at least know that he loves me.
When he throws his arms around my neck and hugs me tight, I take comfort in that one small thing. Because every time I feel that love, I am reminded once more that we are going to get past the wall that Autism has built, and find my little boy's voice. He's in there, and love is just the first thing to get through.