Every waking minute of my day is spent going over the kiddo's behavior with a fine tooth comb. It's so hard to turn off that part of my brain and just enjoy him sometimes. I haven't manged to yet. Best I have done at times is hit the "mute" button. Hey, it's a start.
Not every move he makes is based on his autism. Sometimes he's motivated for more independence. Sometimes he's just being a pain in the ass. (GASP! Clutches Pearls!) Sometimes he is just questioning the rules. Sometimes he is push the boundaries. Sometimes he's just nine freaking years old. I'm so focused on advocating for awareness and acceptance for my son's autism that I completely forget he is so much more than just a medical diagnosis on a file.
Case in point, the recent development of his inability to walk under a door frame or arch way without having to take a running leap and jump up to slap it with his hand. One might say his desire to do this every time is his autism. Nope, I can't agree. He's just reminding me of every guy I went to high school and college with. Hell, my husband still does this from time to time. (Seriously guys, what's with this? I don't get this at all. Is it because it's there? Really, fill me in here) This is when it's not autism.
There now seems to be a expanding interest in music. I'm not talking your standard kiddie stuff, although those do get played from time to time. (Hey we still have an autism house here. No toy/ thing ever truly goes away) He's really getting into all kinds of music. I'm finding him more and more just taking the iPad and going into his room or on the couch to listen to music and or watch videos (did you know they still make them? I know!) on YouTube. Kind of like what all tweens/teens like to do. Is he closing himself off from the world? Autism shutting everyone out? Well he's just doing what I did every single day and still do from time to time. Just chilling out with a favorite artist. So is it autism or just being a tween. I'm thinking it's not just autism. I'm thinking he's got full ass days full of therapy and school. If twenty minutes of listening to Katy Perry is going to chill him out, by all means kiddo.
Then we got the eating thing. Damn is that getting better. Now I had every mom tell me "when he's hungry he'll eat" All autism parents are laughing now because we all know that never happens. Not to us. Or "when he's older, he'll eat better." Yeah I'm guessing you didn't have to meet with a therapist and have three or four sessions dedicated to learning how to eat a sandwich. So yeah, we did do eating therapy twice now. The first time it didn't really take at all. We backed off and took it up again. Maybe now at this age, he was ready. So maybe some of those parents were right about the older part but we also still have to teach him how to approach new foods and textures. I'm starting to see now though, just some foods he does not like. While part of me wonders if I should ask his therapist for more help, the other part wonders "well maybe he just doesn't like it?" There are foods that I don't like. Doesn't his opinion matter? If he never eats a piece of steak, is that a tragedy? The world won't end if he doesn't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Sometimes it's not Autism. If it was always autism well everyone would be right? Why is so hard to turn off that autism filter I view everything with?