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Saturday

Autism-from my family to yours

Autism means something different to every individual on the spectrum, to every family of those individuals and to each support worker.  I love the autism catchphrase, "If you've met one autistic persons, you've met one autistic person." I think we all need to remember this, not just for autism but for all those lovely "box words" that we use to classify people, because assumptions can be painful.
So, that being said, the following is from my family, about my family-not an outline of what every family that includes an autistic person is like.  So here are bits and pieces of conversations we have had about autism:

Me: "So, what do you think is different for us, than for people without an autistic in the family?"
Husband, "Instead of hockey tournaments to drive to, we drive to speech, conferences about 'stuff'.| (Looks at NSLM), "I am glad to, because I hate hockey."
Princess "We have to have a poster in the shower"
NSLM "We say the word autism. HAHAHA.  Yes, Mother.  I am not sure what other families do for a life.  Perhaps my joke is a joke that is not a joke."
Husband, "We eat dinner at the same time every day."
Me "Other families do that, I think, some anyways."
Hubby, "Ok, I didn't. Haha. Umm, signs to turn off lights, wash hands and so forth."
Me "HAHA! Wow, that just doesn't seem like a huge difference."

Me: "Ok, um, what do you find the most difficult part of interacting with NSLM is?"
(Silence)
Me "I find it hard to remember that half the time that you, (looking at NSLM), are sounding insolent that it is not intentional."
Princess, "Well, I don't like it, NSLM, when you don't pay attention to how you are dressed.  People might think you are stinky if your hair looks greasy."
NSLM, "My hair is clean."
Princess "Ok, but you didn't brush it, so its all, bleh.  And people that don't know you see that, and they like don't know you, so they kinda decide what you are like by how you look."
NSLM "That is not smart. But ok."
Princess "I just don't want you do get picked on."
NSLM "I don't want me to get picked on either! So brushing my hair will help this?"
Princess "Yes! It will."
NSLM "Ok"
(I will be watching to see if he will have more care with his hair now, this is a battle we have been having for some time-he hates to brush is hair, *sigh* teens....)

Hubby, "HA! He uses your words against you! If you say something to him, those exact words will be said later."
Me "And NSLM? Do you find it easier to talk to your friends in group than to us?"
NSLM "That answer would change."
Me "Can you tell us about that?"
NSLM "I have the less bit of work to talk to group.  No person does tell me to 'Look! Face Me!' I can talk to a person behind me and it is ok.  I can talk more here where it is that no one will bully (smirk), except Princess haha."

Me "Ok.  Can anyone think of anything that came with the autism diagnosis that is interesting?"
Princess, "haha! Well, that sense of humour is certainly interesting. (grins)."
Me, "I find your (looking at NSLM) ability to visualize things fascinating.  And then you build these amazing things! Wow! But, then, I do not know how much of that is part of autism, and truly (laughs) I don't care."

I will add what NSLM has to say about what he thinks about having autism, when he is ready to share. 
So, anyways, I hope that this little conversation was as boring for you all as it was for me. :)

I am not trying to belittle the struggle that some have, or most have at certain times, with autism-but regardless of where your (or your loved one) is on the spectrum, there is so much that is fairly standard.  We all sleep, eat and interact.  With each child a parent has to teach in a manner that the child can learn, foster talents and help overcome weaknesses.  With autism that means specialized people are available to help overcome those weaknesses.

Anyways, happy autism awareness day! 

2 comments:

  1. Yes I think once I got my attitude adjustment tweaked it was much easier and a sense of humor should be dispensed with each diagnoses.

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  2. I agree Maddy. Thankfully all the professionals we have dealt with have been open, honest and understood that humour is valuable.
    NSLM has a very fast and sharp humour, sarcasm is his new friend. I enjoy his spin on sarcasm, as he does not ever use it to be hurtful.

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