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Monday, November 18, 2013

"Oh my kid does that too."

I hear this sentence a lot.  I've heard it expressed in different ways though.  Sometimes it's said in an effort to relate to me and my kiddo.  Sometimes I hear it and I feel completely dismissed by it. And sometimes I say it and I have seen looks of hope, pity and outright shock in the face of a parent looking at me. 

"Your kiddo is obsessed with trains.  Oh my kid does that too."  Well that's great and all but my kiddo is nine.  I'm betting your kiddo if they are the same age, is well past that point of all things Island of Sodor.   I'm betting you don't plan vacations on around train museums to visit or have to make up social stories about when the train ride is finished we say thank you and we do not cry.  Plus when this was said to me during our first trip down the rabbit hole that is Thomas the Tank Engine, I'm betting your kid actually played make believe with the toys.  He didn't just line them up.  Now right here, someone is saying "Oh my kid did that too." but I'm pretty sure they did that PLUS other things with them.  Not just this and eventually they moved on.  Maybe they still have a fond affection for trains and always will but trust me, my kiddo never truly abandons an obsession.  I'm betting your kid got into something else. 

"Your kiddo is rowdy with your dog.  Oh my kid does that too."  Now I'm betting you will tell me about that one time your kiddo got nipped by the dog and never did it again.   That it taught them a lesson.  Yep, my kiddo has been nipped.  Multiple times.  It never teaches him "the lesson".  So please excuse me while I watch him like a hawk around your pet because despite it happening countless times, he's never stopped getting in an animal's face.  It's not rough housing.  It's not be a rowdy boy on his part.  It's not "rough and tumble" play as my child psychology professor used to like to call it.  It's an accident waiting to happen.  I'm betting your kiddo didn't get nipped and immediately start scripting from Yo Gabba Gabba "We don't ever bite our friends."

"Your kiddo hates school.  Oh my kid does that too." As much as my son craves and relies on the schedule of his school day, he also has a wonderful way to get my heart beating in the morning.  I will have to prompt him no less than 8,304 times to finish his breakfast.  I will wrestle this nine year old boy into his jacket every morning. Even though he has been going to school since the day after his third birthday, I will have to remind him to get his backpack every single morning.  While your kid might be excited if the bus is late or wakes up to a sudden snow day, mine will likely melt down for an hour over it.  Don't even get me started on handwriting homework.  It has driven me to drink. Fourth grade math might baffle your kid but my son still is challenged by having to sign his name.

Now here's where I will flip this sentence.  If I say "Oh my kid does that too." to someone, I can you bet you dollars to donuts that they might blink in shock.  Especially if their kid isn't on the spectrum.  I've seen other moms actually look terrified when I have said it.  Like their kid is going to catch the kiddo's autism.  Best get them out of there right away.  While you can relate to some of the things I said, guess what? I can do the same to what you say.  Complicated isn't it?  It isn't all autism all the time here.  There are some parts of him that are just like your kids.

I guess what's always kind of stuck in my craw about that damn sentence is that it can make me feel like my concerns or worries aren't valid.  I know I heard this sentence a lot when we were just starting the autism diagnosis process.  Friends and families were trying to calm our fears.  Little tip, it doesn't really.  It just sticks out more in your mind, the differences in our kids.  It just made me feel like the idea of autism was so awful that no one even wanted to discuss it.  That made me so sad.  It made me convinced he'd never be accepted by anyone.  Even possibly myself.  How can you come to terms with autism if you won't even acknowledge it?  Just doesn't work.

Well I will agree with you on one thing.  The fries, all kids do love the fries too.  :-) 

19 comments:

  1. omg, I'm so sick of hearing that line lol. it was definitely worst when we were going through the diagnostic stages. it always came off as, my kids does that too but that doesn't make him autistic. it is hard to explain the difference to some people.

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  2. I like when other parents of kids with autism say, "oh my kid does that." They have helped explain why our non-verbal daughter does certain things, like stealing the entire raw roast and trying to eat it, or eating every single banana in the house. (Answer for those by the way is apparently, "because they were there.")

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  3. I'm sick of it too! Although, these people are trying to be well meaning and try to normalize your childs behaviors....They just don't get it. I wonder what a polite response should be???

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  4. My son is almost 11 and we own every thomas train on the planet. And he can name them all and tell you who gave it to him.

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    1. Same here...I have to keep trying to convince mine that Sodor is not a real place we can visit too. Wow..that makes him mad.

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  5. My daughter is mild on the spectrum and is very bright. I get tired of people telling me she doesn't "look" autistic or tell me that their sister's best friend's cousin's uncle didn't speak clearly until they were four or whatever. No one wishes more that our daughter was neurotypical more than me and her daddy.

    My little girl is obsessed with horses and, like the second anon's daughter, she'll eat every banana because it's there, but only bananas. She'll freak if she thinks there's a single hair on an apple, and panics if there's a speck of dirt on her. Certain things MUST be done the same way every time.

    We work hard with her to make her seem "normal" to minimize the thought that she's somehow unintelligent or incapable of thinking, and that's what people see and use to try convincing us we're making something out of nothing. We live in an area where the schools are so strapped for cash they've had to close one. They would NOT take on the therapy and Head Start for another child unless they really believes she's autistic. So we are NOT making it up!!

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  6. " I will have to prompt him no less than 8,304 times to...." oh yes. Just YES!! Thank you for sharing so that we can take a deep breath and go remind him number 8305!

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  7. I hate when someone say oh everyone dose that or something .it so dumb an it like not accepting your iusse or wanting to understand what you are saying .like I have severe sencorey iusse still an when I'm not doing good or use up my point for the day or something is not right in the store or what ever I get very upset an can have a meltdown in a min so one time when one of my relatives was saying oh everyone blu bluh bluh .i say oh you cry an stuff in the food store when .that end her saying anything else .i don't know if they think it to make us feel good or they don't no what to say idk

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  8. While my son (who will be 5 in two weeks) isn't as far along the spectrum as your fry, so much of the things you mentioned sound like they could be written by me. I'm still at the point where when someone says, "My kid does that too," I get a little excited that maybe I've met a kindred spirit in another autism mom. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. I've run across the dismissive types (mostly family who don't want to admit to themselves that *gasp* they're related to someone with autism) and the ones who are taken aback when I say my kid did that too at that age, but most of the time I think people are just trying to relate and bond. It might be misguided at times, but I believe their intentions are well-meaning.

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  9. Chicken nuggets, french fries, hot dogs, pizza.... any other food NO NO NO NO even when he was almost completely non verbal he knew the word NO...night time. 2 prayers at bed time exactly the same followed by naming each family member in home then naming 10 objects - same every night in the room then time on the clock followed by signing I love yous hiding under blanket while mommy finds him for a kiss - then says daddys gonna get you and daddy gives his kisses and tickles - same thing every night OOPS mommy pointed to the Rocket or teddy bear before pointing to "insert my sons name here" FREAK OUT have to go back a few steps, no still not right have to start over, still upset.... cannot calm, cries frantically mommy has to hold and soothe him to sleep.

    Go to walmart but they don't have the widget we are needing.. try to leave, OOPS didn't go through the checkout. MELT DOWN that people down the street can hear... MUST remember ALWAYS go through the checkout because that is what is SUPPOSED to happen when at a store. My son would certainly NOT make a good thief.

    "HE DOESN'T LOOK AUTISTIC" - What does Autism look like exactly? While I don't care for the "My child did that too" the one that really gets my goat every time and makes me look at people like they just said the most absolute dumbest thing possible was mentioned in a comment above - the classic "HE DOESN'T LOOK AUTISTIC"... What are they expecting exactly? What appearance must my son have that they wouldn't have the look of shock and awe when they realize he is on the spectrum?

    And the dreaded look of fear... oh how I know that one.. when they think their child might have something in common with my son... because ya know he couldn't possibly have something normal in common with another child...
    BUT the all time thing that annoys me..... other than the LOOK of Autism which I have no clue WHAT it is supposed to LOOK like anyways..... the number one thing when a parent asks me did my son do such and such cause their kid is doing it and they are thinking it might be Autism... ummmmm if I could diagnose your child I would be making a heck of a lot more money... and just because they have similarities does NOT make every child that has SOMETHING in common with my son Autistic...

    Ok BREATHE.. another day... with my special man who I honestly wouldn't change... he grows in every way every day, and he may not be NORMAL but I never much cared for the norm anyways

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  10. My favourite recent comment was my son's teacher telling me "he seems completely normal to me apart from the unusual behaviours" (His shirts are completely soaked from sucking/spitting on them and he has trouble doing written work due to having both hands shoved down the front of his pants pretty much all the time). I remain stunned into silence by that one...

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  11. I HATE that line! I hear it all the time! Monkey's BIG trigger is the sun going down. My friend says "My kid hates going to be too"...Really? Does he also melt into your arms and beg you to stop the night? Does he wake up no less than 4 times a night and beg to be in your room? He doesn't...wow, I guess I'm just crazy...ugh!

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  12. Hello this is Keegan again from the Sluis Academy. People say that in order to show support and show you that your not alone. The average individual today is quite rude and any sign of good faith should be appreciated and not frowned upon. I do understand that hearing the same line over and over again gets tiring but any faith we can keep regarding society today is a good thing!

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  13. I have finally come to understand this idiom due to phrases like that....Elephant in the room
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    For other uses, see Elephant in the room (disambiguation).
    The Elephant in the Room, Banksy exhibition, 2006 Barely Legal show, Los Angeles[1]

    "Elephant in the room" is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.[2]

    It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook; thus, people in the room who pretend the elephant is not there have chosen to avoid dealing with the looming big issue.

    This is why most people are really apt to change the subject because it makes them uncomfortable, but the subject ends up never getting addressed that way...Even though, most of the time, when we talk about it, we are just looking for the opportunity to just vent and it is upsetting for anyone who wants to vent to always get cut-off.....I can totally relate....

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  14. So what are we without kids on the spectrum supposed to say? Damned if we do, damned if we don't....we try to empathise or make you feel better or whatever misguided reason we might have for saying it, you don't like it. We say nothing, we are not acknowledging. So please tell me - I really need to know this.. How DO we interact with your child/with you about your child without causing offence if we are not in "the club"? This is a serious question and a genuine need-to-know. I see a lot of people complaining that we get it wrong, but no tips on how to get it right....help!

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    1. How about "teach me more about this"?

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  15. My friend is going through the testing process at the moment with her preschool twins, she feels great relief when I say it because my one daughter is ASD and the other is Aspie - obviuosly I know aspergers is part of ASD, it just makes it easier to talk about to diferentiate. It looks like her girls are the same mix but obviously we don't know yet. The other day the one who displays ASD traits was lying on the sofa zoned out staring at her hands. A friend with a 10 yo was visiting and saying all kids do that... Yeah all kids might but she does it all the time and if you disturb her she will melt down and she has to have a pushchair when she's out the house because she does it in the street and then you can't move her without tantrums so she needs to just be left to get on with it.

    Feel free to try to sympathise but telling us your child does that is not empathy.

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  16. sometimes I swear I have the only kid who did not like fries (or chicken nuggets, but that is because we never introduced them, he sure loved his chicken though, where as his brother never touched it). I hear so often, oh that is normal for kids, when I work with children, I know what is within the typical range. I am still fighting for an ASD diagnosis, we have ADHD and ODD, but someone just taught me about PDA which is on the spectrum and now I am wondering if the ODD is a misdiagnosis, as my son's behaviour is always reactive. I wish I had known about autism when he was younger, teens are so much harder to get diagnosed, but since he was not seemly obsessed with anything, or lining about toys, it never hit my radar until I learned more about it when he was older. His ADHD masked a lot too.
    I wish other people would not tell us oh it is normal, or oh it must be your parenting...we know when something is a miss, instead of brushing it off, or trying to justify the behaviour, actual spend soem time really watching our child, see them through our eyes, and see what we are seeing. realise when our child is not sleeping, it is not a few hours until they drop, it is not because they are playing devices or with toys, they will literally sit there doing nothing in their bed awake for hours on end until what ever is upsetting them and keeping them from sleeping is resolved. Telling us to have a routine (when we already have a good one), giving us parenting tips like ground them, take away their favourite things, smack them, etc etc. It WILL NOT help, we have already tried that, and realised our child is not like any other child we have been around.

    oops sorry for the rant....this is a topic I am passionate about, for my child, those I care about, those I work with, and their parents too

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