Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Autism Q and A

It's interesting the sort of mail and comments I receive here at French Fry Inc.  Some of it's very complementary.  Some, thought provoking.  Other's, well, makes me wonder why their Mamas didn't teach them any manners.  Honestly though, the trolls who manage to stumble out from underneath the bridge they are living under long enough to steal their neighbor's Wifi long enough to send it really don't bother me.  Heck, getting hate mail means I've arrived as a writer!  Thanks for validation ya knuckleheads!

I thought I would use this post to answer some questions and address some of the more questionable feedback I have gotten. Here goes nothing! Oh and if you hate this post with every fiber of your being so much so that you feel compelled to write me, realize it will be future blog fodder.  Enjoy!

"Why do you pretend to be normal when your kid clearly is not? I mean if you're kid is in special ed, there's nothing normal about that?"

Thank you Captain Obvious for noting my autistic child is indeed in a special education program.   Here's the thing though, this IS our normal.  I'm not even going to use that "Normal is a setting on the dryer" quote here Honey.  Cause all that's going to do is remind me to go fold those sheets I have in my dryer.  You see, there is always a load of sheets to be washed and dried.  That's my normal.  The nice bonus of having to wash them as much as I do is I rarely actually have to fold them to store them.  I'm usually grabbing them right from the dryer to replace the ones that need to be changed.  In fact I'm thinking of turning my linen closet into a small office seeing as my linens are anywhere but in that space.  Back to this whole pretending to be normal.  What else would you like me to be?  Wailing and gnashing my teeth? I won't do that. I'd smudge my lipstick. 

"Why do you sometimes post or tweet things that have nothing to do autism?"  

Simply because I can.  Yes, autism can be all consuming but I occasionally like distract myself from it.  Call it a sensory break for Mama Fry when I tweet Bianca Del Rio and tell her how much I enjoy her Judge Judy impersonation on RuPaul's Drag Race.  If you want the all autism experience, move on by.  I can't give ya what you need.  If you are ever wondering why your relationships with others might be slipping, it could be the "all autism, all the time"conversation topics you choose that could be doing it.  Trust me, I've been guilty of it myself.  Mix it up a bit.  You'll be glad you did.

"Are you autistic?  Sometimes you sound like you are when you talk about schedules and your quirks and stuff.  Why are you hiding it if you are?"

Am I?  Are you?  Does it matter? Well I guess to some it must.  I will be completely honest.  I have no idea.  I will say that I am sure that the quirky apple didn't fall far from the tree.  There are many behaviors that my son does that I completely understand.  Eye contact?  Pfft, who needs it? Mine sucks.  Sensory issues?  Got them in spades baby.  Schedules, you betcha!  Love me some nice orderly schedules.  You should see my phone.  I got lists galore.  I'm just a hair away from a sticker chart.  Also, some of this normal I spoke of early, it just rubs off on a gal.  If you live it, well, you live it.  If some of the things I do make sense to me and my kiddo and not to anyone else, that's all that matters.  If I have a feeling that makes me understand where my kiddo is coming from than that is a gift.  I don't care what you call it.  Someday, maybe I will pursue that more but I'm 40 and my priority is helping out the kiddo I live with.  I can put that on a shelf for a bit.  I can't shelve his needs now. So sorry, the mystery continues.

"You're too sarcastic.  Autism is a serious issue.  You're making jokes of it."

You noticed? Well Hell's Bells, I thought I was doing a great job of hiding my sarcasm. Let me get this straight. I got to hide my kid, my life, whether or not I'm autistic and my sense of humor.  Gee, that's a lot of stuff.  Guess I could put it in the above mentioned often empty linen closet.  I'm not even going to apologize for my humor Sweetie.  That's just me.  I spent way too much time crying over all things autism and I am sure to cry another rive of tears over it.  In the time between, I will laugh.  I will laugh till my sides hurt.  Being miserable makes the day a Hell of a lot longer.  I'm sorry you're not in that place yet and maybe you never will be.  Too bad though, I would of shared a side of fries with you. 

"Does your kid know you're writing about him? I'm tired of seeing parents write about their kids." 

Yep, he does.  Well in so much he knows there's this awesome page on Facebook that makes his Mama pretty happy with a really cool picture of French Fries and a Yoohoo on it.  There are some topics I won't touch. I think I've been pretty good about that.  I really have no advice to you other of if you don't like them, don't read them.  Go scroll on Buzzfeed.  I'm sure you'll find a amusing quiz to find out what character on "Friends" you are that can occupy your time.  I'm guessing you're not a parent.  Maybe if you become one, you will see the appeal.  Or at least understand why it is we like to talk about our kids so much.  I can't help the fact that he's freaking awesome.  Go ask your mom what she thinks about you.  Say thank you when she says the same or she might not give you your allowance this week.  Or worse, the password to your house's Wifi. 

"When I read you, I feel less alone." 

Thank you.  I do too.  Let's spoon.  OK, that got weird.  Yeah, social skills.  Add that to the list.  :-) Yeah, that's why I still write.  I need to feel less alone too.  We all do.  I'll suffer the negative comments for ones like that. 

Seriously, let's cuddle and nap.  I know you're tired. 


  1. YES YES AND YES!!!! Linen cupboard hasnt held linen for years...Dvd and board games! my sheets live in the basket till i have to change them Princess T's just grab one off the toy chest! As for humour... I did all my crying years ago ( ok so I still have days but its not going to change the situation is it??? not gonna help Princess T learn how to live in this world....) ... Now to the GREMLIN PEOPLE in their PERFECT WORLD.... excuse me while i lock myself in the bathroom ( only room with a lock you know!) sit in the tub eating from my chocolate stash and work on my Pinterest mansion!

  2. Exactly! I can relate completely to 92% of your posts (the other 8% are the coffee ones - I'm a tea person myself haha). I've actually had 2 separate friends ask if this was my blog. I took that as a compliment, but told them nope, not me!
    PS: thanks for reminding me about the laundry. Not.

  3. Love this. Wish I didn't have to comment as anonymous...but I can't for the life of me remember my google or email passwords...sigh. lol. Thank you for all you do, Mama Fry!!!! It definitely helps take the edge off a hectic day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3

  4. I agree ^ i can relate to about 90% of your post (because the other around 10% is about wine, and thats just not my thing. lol) Out of all of the Autism pages on facebook "Autism and a side of fries" is my absolute favorite. Keep rolling with the punches mama fry, you make my day, everyday.

  5. I wish I could give you a high five and a glass of wine. Well done.

  6. This totally made my day, I love the way you answered those questions. Life in the Autism world is full of challenges and sometimes we need to laugh.
    As a father of three, (two on the spectrum) this is one of my "go to" blogs for a smile.

    keep up the great work :)

  7. Mama Fry YOU ROCKED IT OUT OF THE HOUSE !! I have tears running down my face !! and I'm at work ! I so love your replies !! I have some quirks, and I understand some of his quirks, it just means we are more aware ! Hell we live it , get on board , saddle up , this is it cupcake ! We live it and you have to make the most , whether it be poop stories or jokes, or sarcasm !! We also love to jump out of the Autism Box and discuss other things ,unfortunately we have less info on the "Other Stuff" you " Normal Folks " do !! Thank you so much Mama for the Laughter and the Love !! Spoon Later ?? LMAO !!! :)

  8. I love this post! My child is not autistic (has tendencies, not enough to be on the spectrum, so has a diagnosis of SPD), so I cannot say that I relate to you, your child, your household, but I freakin' love how you responded to some of those questions. I want to say that I cannot believe how rude people are, but yes, I can. People who hide behind computer screens are so big and mighty, aren't they? I bet the hateful ones wouldn't dare speak to you in person like that.

    Normal. Well, I catch myself sometimes telling my kids to do things the normal way, but then again, what really is normal? It is normal for my five year old to do the hokey-pokey when getting dressed because standing still for that task just won't do? Maybe not for most kids, but it is for him. I have some quirks myself and so I understand why my kid is like he is in certain situations, because I was like that at his age, and yes, I am like that now. It doesn't mean I like what he's going through at all, because the self-abuse (biting, hitting), the shyness, all that I went through is not fun to witness in your own child.

    Sarcasm? How can we get through our days without it? I am often snarky about my children's behavior and it throws some people off. Am I supposed to pretend it's all nice and dandy when my [as of yet undiagnosed with anything but SPD, OCD, and ODD quirks] three year old goes ballistic because we put the condiments on his plate a fraction of an inch off of where he wanted it? No, it irritates me and sometimes I talk about it using sarcasm. Fortunately, our true friends get it; casual friend and strangers, not so much.

    As for blogging about your kid, I wonder what mine would think. I try to include happy posts to go along with the frustrating ones, but it doesn't always happen. I don't want people to get the wrong impression about my kids, and there are times I thought about deleting the blog (which was a "let's keep out of town/no-facebook family members updated on the boys" blog until Thomas received his diagnoses of speech delay and SPD), but haven't. My husband doesn't read it. I wonder what HE would think about it. Do I share too much? I don't know, but I find it a relief to share and hopefully relate to others, 'cause the Good Lord knows that spending all day with a three year old makes me yearn for adult conversation, even if it's only virtual.

  9. I'm with you! I hear you! Great job!

  10. This was awesome! I'm a new reader to your blog (as well as a new member of the "Mommy with a child on the spectrum" club), so I find your writing voice refreshing. Think I'll have a Coke with my side of fries.

  11. Rock on, Mama Fry. I would have answered the same to all of these questions. Keep on doing what you're doing, don't ever let your critics let you down or hold you back. You are one STRONG and INSPIRATIONAL Mama Fry. Keep up the awesome work. Much support from another mama fry with aspergers to a small fry with autism. :)

  12. LOLOL , I love this. You are so funny and such a talented writer! LOVE YOUR PAGE!

  13. I love your blog and identify with most everything you say (except the wine!). Banish the trolls. They just don't get it.

  14. And this is why so many of us love you and keep coming back. I definitely have to say, I feel less alone.

  15. Youre amazing!! <3 F@*k the haters!!

  16. Love your work and hope you don't let the negative ones get you down. I live in a parallel universe with you, autism with a side of chips......I live in Australia and we call fries, chips! Raising my glass of wine to you honey. Stay strong and keep smiling :)

  17. I do not have a child with Autism, but a child with a disability that nobody understands. I get all of those crazy comments, too. I love how you approached each one. Honestly, they made me giggle. Really enjoyed this post. I think I will stick around here. I have learned a lot from some of your other posts.


  18. I f#cking love you. I really do. I'll buy you a side of fries anytime.

  19. and one more thing...the person who wrote this:

    ""Does your kid know you're writing about him? I'm tired of seeing parents write about their kids." "

    Should just stop reading Mom blogs or just get over it. :)

  20. ONE QUESTION What kind of cover do u have one kiddo's mattress? my son soaks his bed, sheet, linner and mattress. I need a solution please.

  21. Oh I feel less alone now I've found this blog! Can I spoon I'm def tired