When you think about autism, what comes to mind?

When you think about autism, what comes to mind?  Spinning, stimming, meltdowns, limited language or even no language, maybe social anxiety?  Yes, it can be any and all of those things…as well as many others. And that’s just the “child”.  Parents of autistic children have a few of our own characteristics too.

Our heads spin with frustration when trying to figure out what they are trying to communicate. “Use your words, please.”  But what if there are no words?  Lucky for me, I have a wonderful bond with Buddy, who is 25 and non-verbal.  It took a very long time, but we have built a communication understanding.  He can’t tell me what he wants or needs, but he knows that he can show me, and I will figure it out.  It may be something as simple as handing me nail clippers and sticking his finger in my hand, to show me a hang nail. Or something as complex as putting my hand in his mouth and biting down gently, to tell me that his teeth hurt and he has a sinus headache.  Sometime it takes a little while for me to figure it out, but I most always do.

Meltdowns…yes, we have them too.  I admit that when I am tired, and Buddy keeps turning his TV up full blast, after I have turned it down a dozen times within 30 minutes, I do lose it.  He is a button pusher, so he finds the volume and pushes that little sucker till it won’t go no more!  I thought I had out smarted him by duct taping bubble wrap over the buttons…but the little bugger figured out how to pull the tape off.  So, as a last resort…Super Glue!  Let’s see how long it takes for him to figure out how to unglue that little button.

Limited language…I find myself getting tired of explaining my son to new people.  Now don’t get me wrong, I can talk about Buddy for HOURS. I love to brag on him.  But when I have to tell a new doctor or service provider about him, I just want to shut down.  I find it very difficult to repeat the same clinical information over and over and over…”Normal pregnancy, wouldn’t hold a bottle until 10 month old, didn’t sit until over a year old, didn’t walk until almost 3, blah blah blah”.

Social anxiety…OH YEAH!  For several years, I wouldn’t take him anywhere I didn’t have to. It was just easier to go alone, or not go at all.  But thanks to his wonderful caregiver (second Momma) and the support of my husband, I can now take him to restaurants, doctors offices, and stores.  Now the stores are a little bit more difficult, but we figured out this one too…We always go to Walmart first, and he knows that we go straight to the card section.  He is allowed to pick out one musical card, which he plays all through the store.  This works out perfectly, because he knows the routine, and he gets to listen to a song that he picks. And then he has to give the card to the cashier so she can scan it, and then he has it for the next store too.

So what comes to mind when I think about autism? I think of this awesome young man that makes me think, smile and laugh, he is the light of my life.  Sit down for a couple of hours and I will tell you all about him!

~ASM

Sometimes I Like To Imagine What It Would Be Like If My Son Didn’t Have Autism.

Me:  “Morning Bud!”

Bud: “Mornin’, what’s for breakfast?”

Me: “I made eggs and bacon.”

Bud: “Can I have sausage instead?”

Me: “Sure, I’ll have it ready when you get out of the shower.”

Bud: “Thanks, Ma, you’re the best.”

~~~~~~~

Me: “Hey Bud, how was school?”

Bud: “It was okay, I think I aced that quiz.  Hey, is it okay if I hang out with the guys after I get off work, tonight?”

Me: “Sure, just be home by 10, it’s a school night. Where will you be?”

Bud: “We’re gonna grab some burgers or something.”

Me: “Ohhhh, burgers…is SHE working tonight?”

Bud: “Yeah… she said I should stop in and say hi. I think she likes me.”

~~~~~~~

Bud: “Mom?  Mom, wake up!”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Bud: “I had an accident, the road was wet and I went into a ditch.”

Me: “Are you okay?”

Bud: “Yeah, but I think I messed up the car.”

Me: “As long as you’re okay, the car doesn’t matter.”

~~~~~~~

Bud: “Mom, I’m thinking about asking Julie to marry me.”

Me: “Oh, Sweetie,  That’s wonderful.  You two are so good together. I really like her.”

Bud:  “Do you think you can help me pick out the ring?”

~~~~~~

Bud: “Mom, It’s a BOY!”

~~~~~

Bud: “Mom, I love you and I want you to know how much I appreciate all that you do for me.”

~~~~~

Sometimes, I like to imagine what it would be like if Bud didn’t have autism.

 

~ASM

Perception…we all see things differently, especially ourselves.

When you look at a photo of yourself, you see your flaws, but when others look at the same photo, they see your heart.

Two weeks ago my husband had a heart attack. And last week he had open heart surgery.  These last two weeks have been horrible.  I have crumbled more than once.   But I noticed that when I posted updates about Hubby on Facebook, quite a few of my friends and family members commented on how strong I am or that I am “the strong one” in the family.  This made me wonder what these people see in me that I don’t.

So asked one of my family members why everyone has been saying that I am strong, expecting her to say that they were just being polite and encouraging. Instead she said “Really?  REALLY?”  I told her that I didn’t understand what everyone sees.  Apparently, when I see myself as just an average mom, the rest of the world sees me as AUTISM SUPER MOM.

I wonder if they realize that my laundry piles up, there are dirty dishes in the sink, enough animal dander floating along the baseboards to make another furry friend and my son hasn’t been to the dentist in a year?

What my niece told me was that most mothers begin to stop being hands on when their children become preteens, and here I have been doing it for 24 years.

Yes, I have to bathe and dress my son, comb his hair and brush his teeth.  I may have to turn his TV on for him and prepare all of his meals. But even though I still do all that, to me, that doesn’t make me Super Mom, that just makes me Buddy’s mom.

~ASM