Monday, September 29, 2014

5 Questions I Keep Getting Asked About Autism

Maybe it's because my Kiddo is ten and I've been doing this a while now.  Maybe it's because I have this Facebook page and folks think my autism tenure is "official".  Or maybe it's because I'm just a loud mouth and have no problem sharing my opinions even when I haven't been asked.  No matter the case, I have been a walking Autism Help desk for some time.  It's kind of like the Apple Genius Bar except I actually have a real bar in my family room and I've been tempted to bring a flask to an IEP.  (Can you imagine that drinking game? Everyone takes a shot when someone says "appropriate". I'd need a new liver by the end of it.)

All the same, I get many "Frequently Asked Questions" and I thought "Hey, that's some good blog fodder right there! I have to write something snarky and funny again because my posts have been some downers lately." 

1) What do you do when your child melts down in public and you get that look or people say rude things?  

The good old communication mantra of "First this. Then that.", applies best here.  First, get the Hell out of Dodge or Target or Burger King or wherever. Then, screw 'em.  Seriously, do you have the time to give a flying f here?  Nope, your kid needs you.  I'm all for standing up and advocating for my kid, when I can do so successfully.  That won't happen when I'm trying to talk over his screaming or preventing him from finding out which piece of furniture is most aerodynamic.  Just go home and forget about those people. I can guarantee those people have forgotten about you five minutes after you left. 

2) How do you get the Kiddo's teachers/therapist to talk to you so much?  I never hear anything about what goes on at school.

Well mainly, I am incredibly nosy and gladly declare myself as a "PITA" aka Pain In The Ass.  The communication notebook is the first step and if your kid gets additional services through the school, get one of those going for each of those folks too.  Be it a notebook, email, once of month report.  Yes, you can get that written in the IEP.  We had to do that for an OT that no longer works at my son's school.  I never heard from her.  She never came to IEP meetings.  For three years.  I had enough.  I had a monthly phone call/hand written report put in.  Never be afraid or think "OH I don't want to be a bother."  Squeaky wheel Fries! Squeaky wheel.  Also, it's a modern world and pretty much everyone has a smartphone.  I find emails work really well with my kiddo's teacher.  I can fire one off at night during a commercial break for The Big Bang Theory and wouldn't ya know it I usually get a response by the time the show is done.  Everyone is checking their emails.

3) Don't you worry about his diet?  Why don't you do gluten free/ casein free?

I'm a mom.  I will always worry about my kiddo.  That's a given.  As for what he eats, I'm just grateful anytime he does actually eat.  I'm not so picky anymore about what is getting in his mouth.  Just as long as it's food and not the charger cord to the iPad or whatnot.  As for the diets, GF/CF didn't work for us.  That's great if it did for you but it didn't do squat for the Kiddo. At his worst, he was down to about three solid foods.  I'm going to take two of them away?  Fugetaboutit! His sensory issues with food trumps dietary restrictions.  He's finally eating more and I hope to keep it that way.

4) My kid is four and not potty trained.  What do I do?

Hate to burst your bubble sweet cheeks but they will probably not be trained by four, five or six.  This is autism.  All standard rules about children and milestones no longer apply.  Remember, it was your kid not meeting milestones that probably first got you on this road to finding out about their autism.  This not meeting age appropriate milestones continues.  Yeah, it sucks.  I still deal with reminding my son to go poop and we wake up to wet sheets still quite a bit. The more you push, the worst you will make it.  Chill the Hell out and yes, ask the school for help.  Of course you can get that in the IEP.  They have your kids for six and a half hours a day.  Adding in a toilet routine is no big thing.  Just remember it is just going to take way more time.

5) Oh I would never do that. Why do you do/think/feel...

Oh really? Never say never.  I used to say that too sport.  One thing I have learned is that I know nothing.  I can have an opinion one day and it can change the next.  Perhaps your kid isn't the only one that's a bit rigid.  M'kay?  I know lots of things are set in stone but not everything.  Opinions change.

Now what does Mama Fry always say?  You do you!  Remember that above all else.  :-)


  1. ..or maybe you get FAQs because you say good stuff!

    We still have potty accidents at 9, too. Adding a toilet routine to the IEP is genius! :-)

  2. This post will definitely help me up to some extent. Glad to read this. Keep sharing

  3. I am visiting here off the link on Elizabeth's blog. I really liked the FAQ's! Ironically, a lot of this could be applied to any child, regardless of autism. I love the journey you are on and how blessed Kiddo is to have you as the loving parent in their life :)