Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Quit comparing your kid!

This isn't a blog post for you. It's really for me.  For once again I am guilty of comparing my Kiddo to another child.  Not only another child BUT another AUTISTIC child.  So if this is where you thought I had a clue about autism and were following this blog for ideas and advice, you might want to rethink that choice.  Or just laugh at my expense. At least I will be providing an entertaining service.

We were out for dinner and another autism family we knew came in.  We're all happy to see each other and probably both thinking "Sweet. Now my kid won't be the only noisy one here.  #TeamQuirky ready to raise da roof!"

We go back to eating and I hear the other Club Spectrum member kid order from the waitress what he wanted. By himself. With no prompts.  Just rattled it off including asking for a dietary substitution based on an allergy.  Total self advocacy for the win.

And I found myself immediately thinking "When will the Kiddo do that?  He always orders the same thing here.  It's not like he doesn't know what he wants.  It should just be a routine by now.  Why do I have to keep prompting him to order?" My brain is spinning into overdrive with this and I have to take a breath to steady my nerves.

It's so ridiculous of me.  Yes, that kid can order his dinner independently like you would expect any typical kid his age to do.  It's also quite possible it's only at THIS restaurant that he can do it at.  Maybe he can't do it anywhere else.  Maybe he wouldn't react well if he was told by the wait staff that they were out of that item and to pick something else. Or they couldn't make the substitution he wanted, then what?   Didn't happen so I don't know.  I have to engage in this type of thinking so I don't drive myself bat crap bonkers.

All these years into this AND I still need reminding to get my own ass in gear.  So what this kid could do this and mine can't or won't?!  You meet one person with autism you have met ONLY ONE PERSON WITH AUTISM!  It's quite possible my Kiddo does stuff that would make this other kid's mom wonder "Well why can't my kid do that yet?"  We all have different skills.  One of mine just happens to be getting caught up in comparing my Kiddo.  (Dumb, Girl.  So freaking Dumb!)

But that's this autism lifestyle.  You're just sitting there minding your business eating dinner and greeting friends and then BAM! It's all in your face what you still have to work on with your kiddo. My mind screaming at me that we are falling behind and we need to catch up.  Like some sort of race that NOBODY really wins. Knocks the wind right out of me.

"OK me. Slow your roll.  Chill out.  Finish your dinner. At least he's using his fork finally."

Okay, so maybe the fork skills still need some work. We'll get there. 

We have to just take this one side of fries at a time. ;-)


  1. Hey, if it helps ya feel better (lol), my oldest still doesn't use a fork! What is your secret!?

  2. He IS using the fork, just not the way we would! And NT parents do this all the time, too. We were at a Christmas program and a child my own son's age played the prelude. She killed it. Several pages, complicated stuff, I was seriously impressed that that music came from a 10 year old's fingers. And I thought, "why can't my kid do that?" And then I remembered, she's been taking piano since she was practically in diapers, my kid has been taking lessons for 18 months.

    (Also, it could have been a fully prompted order, could have been the first time, could be that the kid scripts his order all day long!)

  3. I think this is a parenting thing as much as it is a special needs mom thing. I find myself doing it with all three of mine. And I see my friends do it without having a child without any obvious issues. For me, I always worry that I didn't do all I could do to help my daughter. I know in my head it's not true, but my heart sometimes wants to think otherwise! thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one! xo

  4. That's why we call it a spectrum - the kids on it are as varied and colorful as a rainbow. Well done catching yourself. I don't have a child on the spectrum, but find myself comparing all the time. Even sometimes between my own three children.

  5. My kids both have special needs. I get the comparison thing...I do it all the time. I think it's kind of a mommy thing today. Remember this: comparison is the thief of joy. Also remember that you're a good mom.
    Jill (Ripped Jeans and Bifocals)

  6. Thanks for posting! My daughter is the kid who orders for herself, but I've worked with her from toddler hood and still need to prompt her to stop what she's working on (coloring, game, book) and look up. We're still working on the fork thing and cutting her food is still just out of range. Other things trip her up more easily, like paying attention in parking lots and following directions, even if they are routine.
    So, yeah. Comparing only looks at one skill set. Don't beat yourself up. Thanks for the reminder for me to stop too. :)

  7. Great post. The fork thing! What is it about forks? Huge argument at dinner the other night over the use of a fork.
    We love Thai, sticky rice that you can roll in your hands.

  8. And I'd say OMG, you get to eat out in a restaurant as a family?! So there you go, I've compared mine to yours, maybe that'll make you feel better 😇