Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Autism-1...Mom-0


Introduction: This blog post was written with several purposes in mind. It was written to remind all parents of children with autism that they aren’t perfect. You can try every remedy, you can follow all the PECs systems, you can do ABA…but you are just human. You are going to give into Autism. I capitalize the word Autism because it is more than just a disorder that robs and steals from our children. Autism is a big enough elephant in the room that is should be referred to as a pronoun. Autism runs my life. I have to admit to you that I let it run the show to a degree, but what gives? I cater to Autism…I feed Autism…and I accommodate Autism so that we can have some peace in our home. Autism is an angry animal that when not fed, petted, or given attention to will chew through the strings of your being and destroy you. So before you post your comments about how I shouldn’t let my son watch too much TV, or you shouldn’t give into your son with snacks…take a step back. I am not perfect…you are not perfect…and our kids are not perfect…but we can try to perfect this up-side-down life we have been given even if it means we allow things that in “normal” households would not be tolerated. Normal went out the window a long time ago. I am just trying to survive, people.

This blog was also written to remind me that I should never ever ever choose a New Year’s Resolution that cannot resolve itself. The word resolution means “to resolve” or “a solution”. I have given much thought to my huge announcement on what I was going “to solve” and “resolve” in 2012 and I now believe I am certifiably crazy. I can resolve the eight extra pounds I put on between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I can’t resolve my son’s neurological disorder and developmental delays that no one has found a cure for. Nor can I resolve the fact that it has infiltrated my life like a pandemic that just continues to spread…not resolve.

This blog was also to let some of my readers and Autism Moms members see me the real person. I try to provide uplift, hope, and inspiration daily on my facebook page, but what you need to know is that I need that uplift, hope, and inspiration desperately myself and I am there beside you guys trying to soak some of that up. I am cynical, sarcastic, and skeptical most of the time. I cry, I curse, and I slam things because of autism regularly…but I have enough sense to know that I need to surround myself with positive people and support or I could easily fall prey to the jaws of ASD. I am real…this is me…I don’t sugarcoat anything about Autism, except the fact that I refuse to let it get the best of me. But still, even with the best of intentions, I was foolish to think that I could get the upperhand with Autism. It just isn’t in the cards. Autism is in control. So without further ado…



“Autism-1...Mom-0”



After going through the usual suspects of New Years resolutions…working off my muffin-top, getting organized, stop using profanity…I decided to be “lazy” and choose one that I thought might stick. I pondered for a while and tried to set myself up for success. I decided to march into 2012 by proclaiming to the entire world that I was going to “Stop letting Autism dictate my life”.

So easy. I can handle anything…therapies, multiple doctor visits, baseball practices, science fair projects, grocery store trips, Christmas dinner…surely I can start arm-wrestling Autism and coming out on top. This is going to be a piece of cake.

Day 1: New Year’s Day

6:30am- Awakened to the sound of toys being thrown against the wall. The first thing I think of is my new resolution and how well it is going to work out.
“I am not getting up at 6:30, Autism. So just try to make me.”

I laid there a few more minutes and then I heard toys begin to hit the light fixture in the ceiling…which is glass.

**Legs swing over the side of the bed and I emit a loud sigh.**

7:00am- Logan: ”Dino Dan”…”Dino Dan”…”Dino Dan”.

Me: “Logan, let’s watch something else this morning. How about Max and Ruby?”

Logan throws himself to the floor…flips from front to back a few times looking like a pancake being turned in a pan.

Logan: “Dino Dan”…”Dino Dan”…”Dino Dan”.

Me (inside my head): “Autism, move over!”. Me (out loud): “Look Logan…Ruby is taking Max to the park”.

Logan: **loud screaming and shrieking and body contortions**.

Me: “Alright, alright…here is your damn Dino Dan”.

Logan: **climbs on the sofa and ignores me until the episode is over and then shouts “Dino Dan” and I quickly press the next episode of Dino Dan on the DVR.



7:45am- Me: “Logan, do you want a cereal bar or pop-tart for breakfast?”.

No response.

Me: “Logan, cereal bar or pop tart”.

Again, I am completely tuned out.

8:00am-the second episode of Dino Dan ends and Logan hops off the sofa and walks into the kitchen and begins to whine.

Me: “Do you want a cereal bar or a pop tart?”

Logan: “Ausicle”…”Ausicle”…”Ausicle”…”Ausicle”.

Me: “Logan, we don’t eat popsicles for breakfast. How about a cereal bar?”

Logan: “Ausicle!!!!!” “Ausicle!!!!” **begins to slam head against the refrigerator and scream**

Me: “Okay, okay…here is your @$%# popsicle” At this point, I am thinking that cutting back on my profanity would have probably been the better choice of resolutions, but intent on not being whipped I continued on. I pulled out a red popsicle and handed it to Logan. “Breakfast of Champions”, I thought.

Logan: “Gween!!!!” “Gween!!!!” “Gween!!!”.

Me: “Logan, we don’t have any more green popsicles”.

**He throws himself down to the floor and does what we call “The Banana”.



“The Banana” is when Logan throws himself to the floor, rolls onto his stomach and arches his back backwards and raises his legs and feet back over his buttocks as if his head and feet are going to meet and then rocks back and forth while screaming.

Me: “Autism, ‘The Banana’ doesn’t scare me. What else have ya got?”

Logan: **Still screaming and banging**

I managed to find a green Blow Pop and somehow got him to eat the Blow Pop and the cereal bar. (No nasty, GFCF comments please…been there done that…didn’t work for us. It is what it is.)

9:00am-Dino Dan again…two more episodes.

10:00am-Me: “Logan, lets go jump on the trampoline!!!”

Logan: **Jumps for 38 seconds**

10:15-11:30am-Rotation of Dino Dan, Bubble Guppies, and Fresh Beat Band

12pm Noon- Lunch consisting of chicken nuggets and French fries. Logan takes a nugget and proceeds to stuff it in his mouth without taking a bite and grabbing a second nugget for the road. He hauls into the living room with an entire chicken nugget in his mouth and begins to chant in a muffled voice “Dino Dan”.

Me: (inaudible) “Autism, not so fast. Watch me control and diffuse this situation”.

Me: “Logan, no-no! We don’t eat chicken nuggets in front of the TV. Come back and sit in your seat and finish your lunch.”

I bring him back to the table and make him attempt to finish his lunch. He finishes the huge mound of nugget in his mouth and stuffs the other nugget in the place of the one he just devoured. He grabs another nugget into his tiny fist and he is off again. I watch as he bolts into the living room and takes his spot in front of the television, all the while munching on his nugget. I attempt to make him come back to the table when he hits the floor, rolls around, and begins to scream. He is in full “banana” mode now.

Me: “You forgot the last nugget”.

12:30pm- Melatonin and a nap

2:30pm-Logan awakens with a meltdown.

Me: “We are not doing this today” and in my mind I am thinking don’t use the TV as a bargaining tool to discourage a meltdown.

Logan: **Screams and thrashes**

Me: “Logan, lets blow some bubbles”.

Logan: **Screams and thrashes**

Me: **Running around the room like a banshee blowing bubbles**

Logan: **Screams get louder**

Me: **Put the lid back on the bubbles and envisioned myself dumping them on his head**

Logan: **Still screaming**

Me: “Do you want to watch Dino Dan?”

Logan: **Screaming stops, head whips up, and he takes his place in front of the TV**

4pm and several Nick Jr. episodes later- **The Witching Hours (as I like to call them) begin** This is the time of day that even Dino Dan riding a T-Rex can’t fix. It is that special time of day that is late evening/early dusk that makes my son come unglued everyday. I flip on all the lights to help stop the transition from light to dark which I suspect is what is setting him off. I can’t flip the damn switches fast enough because he is rolling around like the Chief Chiquita.

The meltdowns come and go for the next few hours like waves. Screaming, throwing himself down, head-banging, crying, crawling, writhing. I try not to cater, because my New Year’s resolution is to not let Autism dictate my life. I cautiously try to transition and redirect and pull him away from furniture and blunt objects.

6pm-I need to cook dinner but Logan is still melting full-throttle. I have some ground beef sitting inside my microwave that has been there for 30 minutes unthawed. I think about the fact that the bacteria is probably making out on top of it, but I can do nothing but stare at the microwave through the kitchen door. I look back at Logan and I am torn. So I choose autism and leave the ground beef to change into something that needs to be put in a Petri dish and placed under a microscope.

6:30pm-My husband comes in and asks “What’s for dinner?”. I tell him it’s in the microwave. I am sitting on the couch with Logan watching “Dino Dan”. He can see from the look on my face I am being facetious. Smart man looks at me and asks “Take out?”. All I can muster is a nod in agreement.

7pm-The entire family gathers at the table to eat out wonderful meal from a paper bag and Logan climbs up into his chair and grabs a chicken nugget and stuffs it in his mouth. He then runs to stand in front of the TV. I told my oldest son to turn the TV off.

“We eat at the table, Logan”, I say firmly.

My husband snorts and shakes his head, like “Nice try”.

As soon as the TV is turned off Logan goes hysterical. He is rolling around with an entire chicken nugget in his mouth. I think about the possibility of this being a choking hazard so I jump up and try to pry it out of his mouth. He clamps down with the strength of 50 men. I reach over and turn the TV on. Things begin to calm.




8pm-Melatonin, Bath, and Bedtime for Logan. The house is serene and quiet.

9pm-I come to bed and lie quietly beside my husband.

I ponder for a moment and turn to him and said, “You know…it is still New Year’s Day and I still have time to choose a new resolution".

He smiles and doesn’t say anything.

I said, “I think I will just try to lose weight like I resolved to do last year”.

My husband knows when to play it safe.

He said, “That would be good too. It’s your decision, your resolution, and you have to live with it”.

There…done deal. It was settled. And the last thing I thought of in my mind before I drifted off to sleep was a scoreboard that read…”Autism -1...Mom-0”.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Autism, Dancing, & Kittens

In our household, a pet has been a pretty difficult thing for us to squeeze into our already hectic life. Logan's aggression issues would be a real problem if we got a dog. I am afraid a dog would bite him if provoked.

My oldest son, with high functioning autism, is an animal lover. He loves all animals big and small. So I bought him a fish. He wasn't completely disappointed with the fish. Let's be honest, a fish is hard to snuggle with, take on walks, pet, or play fetch with.

Everything changed the day before Hurricane Irene came. My husband in a hurry for work was walking down the steps and heard a small cry come from the bushes. He stopped and listened and sure enough..."meow"..."meow". He got down and looked in the bush and there sat the most adorable blonde tabby kitten. We live next to my in-laws that have three black labs that are not known for their love of cats so my husband scooped the kitten up and brought him in the house.

I said, "What are we going to do with it?" with a look of shock on my face.

Most moms would have been freaking about letting the kitten take it's chances with Hurricane Irene or the three ferocious black labs next door, but not me.

All I could think was..."Logan is going to squeeze the juice out of this kitten".

My husband was like, well we can't leave him out for the storm to sweep him away and you know if the storm doesn't get him then the labs will.

"This is true", I thought. So we named her (appropriately) Irene.




Now we are talking about an almost three year old child that has just recently gotten over his texture aversions to fleece and fur (stuffed animals and the like) and we are going to throw a fuzzy kitten into the mix. Someone shoot me now!

The boys had already left for school and when Logan woke up I showed him the kitten. The biggest grin came over him and he kept saying "Cat"..."Cat"..."Cat"...in echolalia style.

Day 1 did not go so great. It was Logan versus the Kitten and let's say...Logan won hands down.

Day 2, not much better.

Day 3, some improvement.

Day 4, the shiny started wearing off a little.

And the days came and went and after lots of scratches and lots of scolding, Logan began to realize that the cat is our friend. It took a few days but slowly but surely, Nick Jr. began to take it's number one spot back and the kitten was eased in the the second place spot.

Because we all know that dancing comes first with Logan, the cat actually got repreive when Logan's favorite shows came on. I think I actually saw the kitten smile in relief when the Fresh Beat Band comes on.

"Ahhhh...Thank God!", the cat must be saying.

I think things are going to work out just fine. Now to figure out how to keep Logan from drinking out of the water bowl.







Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Monday, September 5, 2011

Life's A Beach...Sometimes (Part II)

Most of you who follow my blog have already read my previous post, "Life's A Beach...Sometimes", about my son Logan's first trip to the beach. Long story short, it was a huge success. So, feeling brave we decided to go for Round 2 and stay overnight. I think considering it was an overnight trip and his schedule was not being adhered to, he did extremely well. I thought instead of telling you about how wonderful it was, I would just show you...


These are photos of Logan and his two older brothers, Blake and Landon, playing on the beaches of Emerald Isle, North Carolina.



I think the photos speak for themselves. The beach is definitely a positive sensory experience for Logan and all the children. It looks like it is our new getaway.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just Say No To Negativity

I have noticed that I only seem to want to blog when I'm mad or need to vent.  I don't think that is doing service to my readers or my intent to spread awareness about autism.  It seems like recently, I am mad a lot.  I have tried so hard to have a positive spin and outlook on our situation.  Lately, though, it seems like everything has gotten so difficult, tiring, and overwhelming. 

I could blog about the frustration of how people mistreat us in public, or how I think we are going to have to change therapists again, or how Logan's fixations and meltdowns are ever present.  I have covered most of these topics and will cover them again here I am sure.

I was thinking a lot today about being so frustrated and overwhelemed all the time.  I don't remember ever needing to vent this much in my entire life.  What was life like before autism?  What happened to my dreams and aspirations?



Who was I before I became Autism Mom, Warrior, Advocate, and Crybaby?  Who was I?  I used to have dreams.  I used to dream of being a writer or a journalist.  I was editor of my high school newspaper and won lots of journalism awards and had my writing published.  I changed paths and went into the medical field and was darn good at what I did.  The biggest challenge I ever had to face was whether to wear white after labor day.  Those days are gone. 



Now I am constantly trying to decide if we should do floor time versus ABA.  I am trying to decide if I should peel the grape or give it to Logan with the skin on it because he doesn't like the texture.  I have to plan a trip to Walmart like a CIA operative.  Every turn, twist, and bend in the road has to be strategically planned out with backup plans and Plan B options.  I have never had to think ahead so much in my entire life. 

There are lots of things in my life that should be celebrated and my children are at the top of that list.  I don't mean to sound like a Debbie-Downer.  I just seem to always have plenty to say about the negatives and the down-side of raising children with autism.

I think it is selfish to think about my dreams and wishes, so I push them out of my mind.  I think that may be why I am finding myself more and more negative.  I can't even remember the last time I had my hair cut?  Everyone keeps saying, "Oh, you are growing your hair out!".  I just smile.  Truth is...I hate it.  I just can't find an hour to make an appointment at the salon and then there is the dilemma of who will keep Logan. 

There is this little part of me that wants to cry and stomp my feet and bang my head.  I want to go to the mall and go shopping...alone.  I want to drive the beach and stay for the weekend.  I want to get a pedicure and manicure.  Just little things that lots of women do that I don't get to do.  At this point in my life dreams aren't even really dreams...they are just simple daily activities that normal women do that I don't get to do.  I am sad about it.



So when I hear a woman complaining about how she wants to go back to school and get her Masters but she has to wait until her kids are out of school, I cringe because all I can think is how I need a pap smear and can't get one.  What is wrong with me?  This is not the right attitude, but I can't shake these negative feelings and jealousy that has started creeping up on me. 

I am jealous when I read on Facebook that one of my friends is about to start their vacation.  I am jealous when I see a Facebook status that says "Girls Night".  I am even jealous when I read, "Just read the best book on my Kindle".  These things are foreign to me because I am cleaning crayon out of my child's mouth, wiping poop off the crib bars, and heading off meltdowns. 





The insanity has to stop.  I don't like the person that I am becoming.  It seems I can be positive and inspirational to every parent out there raising a child with autism, other than myself. 

Going to start working on cleansing my mind and my attitude.  It all starts with me, not the autism.

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Welcome To The Future

Welcome me into the future because we now have DVR.  Yes, it's true, we went from dragging our knuckles last week to now having a dvr receiver in our home.  Who knew that life could be so good?

old t.v Pictures, Images and Photos

The dvr was originally supposed to be for me, but, of course, it is being dominated by Logan.  This is a good thing, though.  After receiving the dvr, I realized that I can record all of Logan's favorite shows and new episodes.  No more dvds and changing them out every 10 minutes.  This is revolutionary, although I am about a decade behind, I think.




Logan was also assigned a new service coordinator this week.  Let's just say I have been at a loss for words regarding his previous service coordinator.  Not to sound pretentious, but she was really a redneck, missing teeth, just very backwoods and was constantly telling me that Logan "ain't that badly autistic".  What does that even mean?  She came one day in 1984 acid washed jeans, a pre-pubescent, hot pink, skin-tight, athletic jersey-style t-shirt with the "14" on the front and a pair of rubber flip flops.  You know the flip flops...the ones that we used to get out of the bin at the dime store when we were kids.  Please don't misread what I am saying, I am not being condescending.  My point is this lady works for a state agency and comes into people's homes as a professional and this is just not an outfit or a persona that is screaming "trust me" or "you are in good hands".


RedNeckGirls Pictures, Images and Photos
Our Service Coordinator (ok...maybe I am exaggerating just a little)


So our new service coordinator came this week and to put it mildly, I wasn't expecting anything earthshattering.  I was pleasantly surprised.  His new coordinator was professional, articulate, and most importantly KNOWLEDGABLE. 

She was very concerned that Logan melted down for the entire time we tried to visit in my house.  We took him outside to try to divert his attention.  Going outside usually diverts his attention, but it poses other problems.  He runs away and won't stay in the backyard.  He kept darting off and I kept having to chase him down while she and I were talking.  Again...she was concerned.  She asked me how often did that happen and I told her frequently and told her how we have to put him in a harness in public places.  I also told her about 40 feet behind our house in the woods is a pond and that I am fearful of him wandering away and drowning in that pond.  I told her the only thing I felt good about was the fact that we live really far off the road where it would take him a long time to reach the highway.  She asked me why our other service coordinator hadn't offered us "fence service". 

Perplexed, I told her I had no idea what she was talking about.  She told me that we should have been offered a free backyard privacy fence for Logan due to his elopement issues.  She was visibly frustrated that I didn't have a clue about the program.  She told me that she would put it in the works for us to receive the fence.  She said that they have local contractors and donors that volunteer the material and the services to families in need with children with autism.  I was floored and ecstatic all at the same time.  She also told me that I could have received a weighted blanket from the agency she is with when I told her I had been shopping for one.  She agreed to bring me one next week.  She also told me that I am eligible for respite care, which I have never been offered.  She was very upset by the fact that none of these services had been offered to me by the other coordinator.  I bit back the urge to tell her that she may have offered them but I may not have heard her due to the snuff in her mouth.  I have a tendency to let my sarcasm get the better of me sometimes. 

So, we are super excited about some of the upcoming services we are going to be receiving for Logan.  I have heard lots of moms talk about respite and because it had never been offered to me, I had just assumed we weren't eligible.  Amazing.

Good things are happening in the Hill household this week.

sailor v hikaruchan Pictures, Images and Photos



Mommy gets to watch Young & The Restless after everyone has gone to bed.  Logan can watch new episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba uninterrupted.  I can now pause a television show during a meltdown (I am sure the inventors of the DVD never imagined it would be such a gem for a parent of a child with autism).  And last, but definitely not least, we are going to be receiving lots of new services that should take some stress off this family. 

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ain't Too Proud To Beg

While you are here visiting my blog and catching up on the craziness that is our life, please take the time to vote for "Life With Spongebob" on Top Mommy Blogs and We're On The Fence.  It only takes a second to click the buttons on the right of this blog and help support LWSB. 

This Shameless Plug was brought to you by,

Spongebob's Mom : )

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Here's Your Sign

So...I've been good lately.  I have been on my best "Autism Mom" behavior.  I have been understanding when other's aren't.  I have been really on a roll with the "in their defense, they have never heard of autism" standpoint.  I have been substantiating other people's ignorant behavior because I don't want to be that snarky, bitchy "autism mom".  You know the one...the one that is out to get everyone who doesn't jump on board the autism wagon, the one that wants to beat everyone's ass who stares at their child, the mother that is on a mission to shove their child's autism down someone's throat and "by God they are gonna like it!!!!".  That autism mom.  I have been forcing myself to poop butterflies and rainbows while taking the high road.  

It isn't working.

I do try to promote peace, love, and autism, (don't get me wrong), but lately I have just really had it with the explaining, the educating, and the hand-holding when it comes to family members and complete strangers.  I mean...I can understand having to occasionally break things down for family members.  I have to associate with them and share holidays with them and I can somehow find the patience to explain a meltdown or another behavior.  I can find it within myself to explain that my child isn't "a slow leak" because he eats crayons and that he does it because he craves sensory stimulation (while shooting the bird at them when they walk way).  I can do these things.  But, why the hell do I continue to try to explain autism to complete strangers?  I answer my own question..."Because Jessica, you run an autism support group and you have to set an example."  "Jessica, (I like to address myself when I am trying to rationalize a situation) how are people supposed to learn about autism if you don't snatch them out of the darkness and bring them into the light?"  "Jessica, you have to be the bigger person and advocate for your son."  Yes!!!  Advocate!!!  I just get tired of advocating and my words falling on deaf ears.

I told you our shopping trips have gotten better and when I say better I am being positive.  They aren't met with screams, headbutting, or severe self-injurious behavior...except of course if Logan is in Toys R Us and sees an aisle full of Crayola Heaven.  We were there yesterday and bless him, this child knows nothing of the word or concept of patience.  He doesn't understand that when you see something you want...you have to pay for it.  His concept is, "Crayons=MINE".  I picked out a couple of Color Wonder sets and put them into the cart and he began to scream at the top of his lungs..."Color-Color, Color-Color, Color-Color!!!!".  I kept saying lets look around and find you some new dvds (cause Mommy needs a break from Diego and the Three-Toed Sloth episode....uggggghhhh).  All he could focus on was getting that Color Wonder set out of the package and those crayons into his little hands.  He lost all sense of reality and fell down the rabbit-hole of insane.  Right there between the Melissa & Doug puzzles and the coloring section, my child began to transform into mayhem.  This was one nasty meltdown, let me tell you.  And you could say in a way, especially to someone who doesn't know he is autistic...that this was spoiled and bad behavior.  I give it to you (by you, I mean strangers who are looking at the drama unfolding), this child wanted to color right there in the middle of the store and I wasn't allowing it and he was pissed...but the meltdown ensued not only from not getting his way, but from not being able to communicate and understand that in five minutes he could have the whole Color Wonder set to himself. 

He was wearing his famous t-shirt...the one from CafePress that reads "I Am Not Naughty.  I Am Autistic.  Please Be Understanding".  It usually helps.  People see a child having a complete exorcism...they read the shirt...they stare in horror for a couple of minutes and they move on.  I can take the stares...stare away...just don't approach me and say anything to me or my son...those are my rules.  My other rule is if you are close enough to me for me to hear your nasty comment under your breath about my child and my parenting then you are also fair game, but I digress.

So, where was I?  Oh yeah...here we were in the middle of Toys R Us having a disasterous meltdown over "Color Colors" and I am standing my ground.  "We aren't leaving", I say to myself,  "Let em' stare...I don't care".  And stare they did.  We finally made it to the video section and he was in full meltdown mode.  I picked him up and put him on my hip and began to show him all the different video choices.  I probably looked insane because I was extremely calm and nonchalant while picking through the videos while I had this wild animal headbutting me and pulling my hair while screaming and kicking.  I just continued to shop like I didn't notice it. 

I get the to register to pay for the videos (and they could have been pornos for all I knew at that point) and let's not forget the Color Wonder sets that ignited the fire to begin with and the guy behind the counter began to ask me if I had my Toys R Us rewards card with me.  Mind you, my child is still on my hip headbanging, screaming, and kicking.  I politely said, "no".  He then proceeded to ask me if I wanted to open up a Toys R Us rewards card to save and to receive coupons on future purchases.  I had a Toys R Us rewards card in my wallet but didn't want to have to juggle through the meltdown to find it so I just told him I didn't have one...not realizing he was going to give me the whole spill on how great it was and how it only took a second to apply.  I mean, REALLY????  Do you see this child attacking me and you think I am concerned about getting 10% off ?????  Surely, he didn't think I was a secret shopper grading him on his check-out protocol?  I was trying so hard not to be rude, but I felt my inner sarcastic bitch coming out in me and I said, "Do I look like I want a rewards card?".  He just looked at me and Logan for a second and replied, "No Ma'am, you don't".  I said, "Then is there anyway you can ring me up so I can get out of here and handle my son please".  He immediately began to ring up all the stuff in my cart with a fury that I have never seen before.  I almost felt bad for snapping at him, until it happened. 

There is always that one moment that will stop me in my tracks.  The comment or remark that will make me turn on one heel and come back and let someone hold it.  His female coworker said (loud enough for me to hear), "Dese parents wid dese hyperactive kids need to start gittin dem on some pills in stuff cause I am gon lose my mind up in here."

This comment came from an employee of the largest retailer that supports Autism Speaks and obviously there is no training on how to handle a customer or child in the store with autism.  Hmmm?  My next thought was, "Gee, he is wearing a t-shirt that says in very large print that he has autism and you still utter ignorance?".  My third thought was, "I have to correct her grammer." because I am and always will be a "Grammer Diva".  I was an Honors English student, a communications/journalism major, and the editor of my high school newspaper and to hear her spew a sentence of such jibberish shook me to my core.  I didn't know where to start first...defending my son's autism or the English language itself...it was a toughie let me tell you, but the autism won out. 

"Ma'am", I said, "what you are witnessing isn't hyperactivity and can't be washed away with a pill.  This child has autism and he becomes overstimulated in stores and has communication breakdowns which cause him to exhibit extreme behavior.  This happens on a regular basis and I can promise you if I haven't "lost my mind" yet then surely you can hold it together.  By the way, he has on a t-shirt that clearly states he has autism and asks for your patience, so your patience would be greatly appreciated.  And for the record, I donated $20.00 to Autism Speaks the last time I was in here and am saddened to see the lack of autism understanding from a store that sponsors such a large supporter for autism research and advocacy."  There...I had done it...I put this woman in her place and set her straight and it felt good.  I was expecting Bill Engval to jump out and yell at her, "Here's Your Sign".





I took a step back, feeling very accomplished in my advocacy and I was met with a very unenthused, uninterested expression and a very simple response...

"I didn't know.  You should let somebody know before dey say sumthing." 

I want you to take that all in...that's right...think about what she just said. 

"Let somebody know before dey say sumthing". 

Priceless.

This is why it is so hard to continue fighting this fight.  It is so hard to stay politically correct when you are dealing with ignorance of this magnitude.  I am either going back to handing out cards again to explain my son's autism or either I am going to start using the middle finger, but vocalization is becoming completely futile. 
 
Designs by Dana
© 2011 Designs by Dana
© Design Kit by Blackleaf Studios