Sunday, September 7, 2014

From a Mom of a High Functioning Autistic Son & an ADHD Son

Hi there- yeah you, who cannot stop staring at me in the grocery story while I am trying to calm down my High Functioning Autistic son (who doesn’t look autistic), while chasing after my ADHD son- would you like to switch places, because the look on your face is telling me you think you can handle this situation much better than I am.
Which is so strange, because I live in this situation 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
By situation- I mean my life. Not this is a burden.

So while you’re staring, judging me--- try to think about this:
-Today could actually be a really good/easy day
-Your stares are RUDE
-Smiling may lift my spirits a little bit
-You can’t do better than I’m doing
-As much as you think Autism & ADHD are over diagnosed, they are REAL. I’m not just looking for a cover up for my children's ‘bad behavior’.
-A whole lot of tears (mine and my kids), time, and money went into how far we have already come.

Please refrain from saying these things to me:
-‘How do you handle this?’
*Let’s talk about this a little bit… Last time I heard, I couldn’t just hop over to the hospital and say, “Hey- yo this kid is difficult, can I switch him out for a new one?” My answer to this would be- What is my option?? This is my baby! I love this screaming child with my whole heart. This child has taught me more about life than any other human on the planet. Yes, of course, I have thought about running away, going to the store and never returning, dropping them off at the fire station. Sure all of those have crossed my mind- because our home life is HARD. I get by everyday by knowing God is trying to teach me something more- thru my kids.

-‘Whipping him doesn’t do anything?’
*Well you know what? I have never thought about whipping him. Let me try that real quick… NOT. Of course we have tried every single form of discipline known to man. Guess what? Not many of them work- if any. So while you think there is magic behind a whipping/spanking- there isn’t. Plus, what looks like a normal throwing a fit because he isn’t getting what he wants could actually be many many many other things: the lights could be too bright, sounds too loud, too many people, not enough people, the lights could be too dark, not enough sound, the list is endless. This ‘fit’ you are witnessing for 5-30 minutes is only 5-30 minutes of our entire life, so I apologize if you have to listen to my kid have a hard time. So let me spank him because the lights in your house are too dark.
 The truth is, children with autism don’t always have a clear comprehension of cause and effect. Their brains simply don’t operate in the same way as typically developing kids. Their behavior challenges are bigger and more complex, and solving them is more difficult.

-‘Let me have him for a week, I’ll straighten him out.’

*This has to be the most uneducated thing I have ever heard someone say. You either 1) Know absolutely nothing about ASD or ADHD. 2) You are one of the ones that have asked me the question listed above. But, sure, if you think taking him for a week will change years of what I’ve been trying to do, go ahead. I’ll be on vacation - listening to my own thoughts for once.

-‘My friend’s son/daughter is autistic, and they are so much different than your son, maybe it’s not autism’
*Interesting, maybe because you have met one other child on the spectrum, you know what autism is. Maybe you’re right. We have only seen multiple doctors, therapists, teachers, psychologist, neurologists, the list goes on. But I’m happy you don’t think he’s autistic. Chime in the bad parenting mantra. Guess what else--- my son also isn’t Rainman, that doesn’t make him any less autistic, does it?

While all of this seems so harsh - it’s life. I have been ask multiple times by family and friends, some I no longer talk to anymore, these very questions. All I am asking is for your to become educated in what we are dealing with. I understand most of these questions would be asked out of concern, and I definitely appreciate that. From the bottom of my heart- if you don’t know how to help me, ask! I may not know either, but I won’t feel so bad for my kid screaming bloody murder in your presence…