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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Presenting...Autism!

There comes a time for the big revel.  You've been there with me.  You meet someone new.  You do the general pleasantries of what you do, are you married which of course leads to if you have kids.

Then you mention you do.  For a brief moment you are on an even playing field.  You are a parent talking to another parent.  You should have gobs in common.  Except...

Your son, while he is 8 is not in the same grade as their kid.  In fact he's been in school so long since early intervention preschool days and you kind of panic and forget what grade he SHOULD be in.

He does not ride the big bus home to the bus stop while you wait parked in your mini van with all the other parents.  He is dropped at your door by a small bus. (Not gonna lie.   This is kind of a sweet perk.  My kid's bus stop is my driveway)

His afternoons are not filled with little leagues, being casually dropped off at someone else's house or off to ride alone on his bike. It is get in Mom's car.  Go to speech, OT, PT, music therapy, Social Skills training playgroups etc... (Heck getting him to ride a bike was a big effing deal that required a consult with both an OT and PT)

So eventually the jig is up.  You really can't pretend to be one of the crowd and you mention that your kiddo is on the spectrum.   It's like pulling back the curtain to reveal that The Wizard is just a man.  (who just happens to be on the spectrum of course)

You might get one of several reactions.

"Deer caught in headlights" (She is NOT ONE OF US!)

"Oh my neighbor's boyfriend's daughter nephew is on the spectrum too!"  (Yeah and? You don't have to prove how down on Autism Ave. you are folks.)

"But he's eating wheat.  Don't you know about you can cure him like Jenny McCarthy did?" ( I'm sure she is who you would consult with for all your major medical decisions too right?)

"Oh I see" followed by treating you like one of the gang.  (Of course this is a rare but glorious reaction.   I have to keep myself from kissing people on the mouth when this happens.   Socially inappropriate much? Gee I wonder where the kiddo gets it? )

My frustrations and joys maybe different than yours, I am a parent just the same.  At the end of the day, we all are in it together.  Cut me some slack would ya?  Be nice to me and I might just share a side of fries with you.


53 comments:

  1. Love it! The small bus at the end of our driveway is a pretty good perk ;)

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    1. It is the best perk!! Yoga pants and slippers at the door for the win!!

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    2. After we recently move we found out we're in a different school district than the one my son went to and because he is on the spectrum and all the other schools in the area aren't as equipped to handel special needs he and my older nt daughter get their own white short bus to go to school. My daughter should be going to the elementary down the street but our school was worried separating them would cause huge transition issues with my son. My daughter who is 9 doesn't mind cruzing on the autism perks for now but I'm sure that won't last. But it's the best school in our town so she can deal until jr. High. Do your kids seek eachother out at school?

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  2. Been there done that! I can tell you I usually get the first two reactions. The last one, that would be a rarity. :)

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    1. I have hope more people might start being like it though. 1 in 88. It's gonna hit home eventually.

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  3. I also, like Karen, usually get the first two reactions. Awesome post!!

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  4. I love this blog post! Everything you said is exactly my life with my 7 year old son too! When people ask what grade he's in, i always have to stop and think about what grade he 'should' be in!

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    1. I always have to furrow my brows and go well he should be in third but he's only in second but some of his course work varies. And by then I've lost them.

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  5. Hi there! Just found your blog today.

    So...

    First, other parents suck. Almost always.

    Second, welcome to blogging!

    Third, I like snark, let's be friends.

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  6. Autism Daddy mentioned you. I'm so glad he did. I always love finding new, cool blogs to follow. It makes me feel like I am not in this alone, you know? Even though all of our kiddos are different, our experiences as their parents are fairly similar. It's sorta freaky (but pretty cool, too).

    And I agree, the bus stop being at the end of my driveway is one of the best perks.

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    1. Big props to Autism Daddy for sharing me. He's one of those first few pages where I realized Hey some of this stuff is just funny. I can laugh at this!:-) glad to know too I'm not alone in this. We all have to remember that. :-)

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  7. Sometimes when you get the no-big-deal reaction, it's b/c they thought you said your kid is artistic. -- Meg

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  8. "Deer caught in headlights" (She is NOT ONE OF US!)
    hahahahahahahahahahaha!

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  9. I just found your blog, love it. My life definitely involves autism and lots of fries (her not me), so can I be part of your gang please??!

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    1. Absolutely!!! It's a rowdy bunch but a fun one too. :-)

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  10. Love the post. Love that my kid is dropped off in my driveway too. Hate other parents (more often than not). I have never had someone b e accepting. Usually I get- "well, she looks normal". Sadly, my two NT kids aren't into "normal kid stuff" either. My son would keel over if I made him play sports, so I have gotten out of being a chauffer so far!
    Thanks for the post.

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  11. We have a new family on the street that is one of those; "So?" and encourages my boy to play and hang out with them. I almost DID kiss him but didn't think the wife would have like it. Very different from a family behind us who "understands" but got upset when my boy dropped the F-bomb on her. (Yes, she deserved it.)

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    1. I'm always kind of gobsmacked when a family wants to get together with us. It's like getting asked out on a date!

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  12. Yep, your post says it all. Always hated those moments, although I have to admit, most people were pretty cool. There were just a couple of real boneheads that made me want to strangle them.

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    1. It's always nice when folks surprise ya in a good way.

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  13. "But he's eating wheat. Don't you know about you can cure him like Jenny McCarthy did?"

    ...got that one today, minus the Jenny McCarthy reference. There was a reference to dietary adjustments and 'cure'.

    *sigh*... only when Jesus returns, my friend.

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    1. I just got one today when a Facebook page shared another post I did on his food issues. That I must not know how a special diet can cure him. lady he is 8. I assure you we have tried all the voodoo tricks by now.

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    2. To the people who say diet can "cure" it, first I laugh like a crazy woman, then I tell them till go ahead and try to change his brand specific chicken nuggets and goldfish crackers...

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    3. To the people who say diet can "cure" it, first I laugh like a crazy woman, then I tell them till go ahead and try to change his brand specific chicken nuggets and goldfish crackers...

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  14. Although I am fairly new to "the diagnosis", I've been dealing with the special needs for most of my son's life (he's 8). Love your blog, I truly can relate with just about everything AND it makes me smile! Thanks!!

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    1. Welcome to the club! Glad you enjoy it. :-)

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  15. Betcha an even rare-r (more rare? w/e) one will be 'Oh, I know how that is. I'm autistic." Though y'know, without the whole marriage and kids thing. :P

    And yes, I hate the 'Oh, he/they/you look normal' thing. Or "You're perfectly fine, don't worry about it'. Demeaning much?

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  16. I am thrilled that lately I've found all these blogs of snarky parents! For the past decade, I thought I was the only one! My daughter is almost 13 and nonverbal. I love the small bus stopping at the driveway, and no whining for a new ipod or phone (like her older sister). Autism has its perks. Jenny McCarthy and her warrior moms can carry on without me.

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    1. Oh I'm a warrior mom all right. I just happen to be commander in chief of my own army. Not the bunny birgade. :-)

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  17. My son isn't autistic, and what I know is only what one of my best friend tells me about her son. But my son is special needs due to medical concerns that make it so he can't do things like other children. I'm a bit jealous of the bus at the driveway thing, I've been fighting with the school to get that one. And other parents when they hear...ugh! When they look at you like "Oh Crap how do I get out of this conversation politely and run! Run far away!" Yeah. And my sis in law is always coming up with new "cures" for his complications...So while I don't know autism I sure do relate to much you wrote in this blog.

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    1. Oh and my son is what you call a "spoonie", doesn't look sick...so I get the "But he looks so normal" or "He looks healthy he must be better" yeah.

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  18. I usually get the "he's autistic? But, he looks fine. He will look me in the eyes" Lady, do you have any idea of how many years of therapy it took to get to that? He will look you in the eyes maybe 60% of the time, if he knows you. You don't get to see the other 100 different things that if are not right will set him off. He's so intelligent. 6yrs tomorrow in1st grade and is reading at a 4-5th grade level. That does not mean he is not autistic. So many times I feel I have to "justify" his autism diagnosis to people.

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    1. Yes one wants to almost ask. "What's he suppose to look like then?"

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  19. just love this post and the comment about wheat, ive had many of them, everyone is a medical expert when it comes to your child having autism and no regard to the fact youve lived with it for long enough to have flown to the moon and back to find help and not a mother who just couldnt be bothered to help.. wish everyone would read this. Oh and the bus is the most amazing perk ;-)

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    1. Amen! I just got the "you must not know about the diet" BS line again three days ago. Hello, he's 8. You think we haven't tried it? People need to shut it sometimes.

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  20. Oh honey I FEEL you. Please visit me sometime http://askewedviewed.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/the-great-autistic-one-a-nut-in-a-shell-aka-take-your-diet-that-cures-and-shove-it/

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  21. Thank you thank you thank you for getting it. This is exactly what happens every time we meet someone new.

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  22. Wow... I'm stunned reading everyones comments. I've rarely had reactions one or two. Only a couple of my friends have kiddos w\ autism. The majority don't. And -i seriously have only had a couple of negative reactions. Guess we are lucky!! Sorry to hear its that was for so many...

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  23. THIS! Every single word of this! I have a five year old on the spectrum. We moved into a neighborhood that is heavily populated with children around his age, in hopes this would get him to interact better with other children. These asshole, Stepford-type Moms clutched their pearls and ran from me when they found out my son was Autistic. Like their kids were going to catch it or something. Now, we live in a sub full of kids he could play with, but nobody wants their kid any where near mine. We get to watch from our yard or window all of the kids playing in the next door neighbor's yard every day. Ignorant jerks.

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    1. I feel you . My son is now 11 and it hurts like hell to see the other kids playing and him wanting to so bad ! We even moved into an apt complex thinking "gotta be tons of kids" well there are...just none that want to take the time to know my son. My husband often says " all he wants to do is play video games " and i tell him NO! NO! NO! ...it's all he has to do ! even some of the parents i've met with autistic kids don't want the kids hanging out together because they feel if their kid hangs out with "normal" kids maybe that'll help....I'm sorry...all your doing is taking away a chance for 2 kids that are alot alike to do somethings together and form friendships like other kids. (maybe having a little more fun..and a little bit of flapping ) who cares ? ...instead they would rather have their kid on the sidelines feeling left out.....go figure !

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  24. This actually brought a tear to my eye lol my son is only 3 and recently diagnosed so im kinda new to all this..although im all to familure with these reactions. My son is high functioning so people tend to think he should behave like the rest of the kids..but when he wont get anywhere near them, flaps his arms, spins in circles, covers his ears, or has a melt down i imediatly become an outsider. plus all the other kids his age are jumping, pedaling, climbing, dressing themselves, ect ...he stuggles to get up 3 stairs without holding my hand or falling. but i would rather be alone in this fight then not have my amazing perfect in every way son :) he is truely the light of my life

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  25. I found your site about a month ago and can I say YOU ROCK! I am so happy to find parents that can be "real" about this part of our child...cause it is only a PART of them not their entire entity.
    Thanks
    JBreck

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  26. awww I miss the bus at the end of my driveway ! well actually he drove all the way down the driveway, and he was amazing!! not like the big bus where we would get a different random busdriver every day and there would be 30 some odd kids on the bus yelling and screaming. this is not even a bus its a comfy van with a friendly little man driving it and all 6 boys riding in it were in my son's class. it was amazing. unfortunately my oldest daughter started K this year and it didnt make any sense to have the "bus" pick up my son and then turn around drive my daughter to the same school two minutes later. after a LOT of discussion and practice run-through's now mommy is the shuttle bus driver for both kids, our compromise was that we get to drop off and pick up in the "BLUE" zone at the school so he gets to hop on and off right where all his friends are getting on and off the bus' too...

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  27. Oh God, I hate you so much because you are telling the truth. And I love you too. Maybe I will even kiss you on the mouth.
    Greeting from Ye Olde England :)

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  28. I loved the part where you want to kiss the good ones on the mouth :) I laughed out loud, I loved it.

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