Being American is part who my son is regardless his diagnosis. Two weeks ago, we went to our local Home Depot store and they had an American flag displayed near to the main entrance. Tommy walked right straight where the flag was and pointed at it because he recognized it from last year when we celebrated the 4 of July by teaching him 2 national symbols and 2 presidents. He still remembers them when I show the flash cards to him.
Days later, I was getting baby stuffs from the basement to start getting ready for the arrival of our new baby boy. I didn't realized that between the stuffs there were 3 flags (Panamanian flag, Irish flag and American flag). Between the three flags, Tommy chose the American flag and spent the whole evening waving the flag. I tried to put it away from him because I didn't feel confident with the thin flag pole because he could poke one of his eyes out, but he got mad. So I respected his desire of keeping the American flag, after all, the flag represents part of who he is. He ate with the flag in front of him; he went to take his bath with the flag, but this time he allowed me to put it on the sink before getting to the bathtub; he brushed his teeth with the flag in one hand and the toothbrush in the other one; after this, we went to his room to get ready for bed. It was challenging when a said "you can not sleep with the flag" and tried to take it a way from him. So I told him, "you can have the flag for a little while, but the flag will sleep close to the lamp because the flag will watch over you. The flag will be right there in the morning waiting for you." I am not sure if he understood, but he didn't cause a fight after I took the flag away. When I open the door of his room the next day thinking he was still sleeping, Tommy was already awake waving his American flag.
Happy Independence Day!