I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A mere fly on the wall



Warning – ear wigging is dangerous [probably offensive] One year ago......

A few years ago, I began to understand the camaraderie of parents, especially mothers with children on the spectrum. Initially I had thought I was the only person on the planet………then I learned that there were so many other people in a similar floatation device.

I sit in the waiting room at occupational therapy. Two mothers are in mid discussion. The terminology they use, indicates that they are up with the hunt. [translation = done their research] I try not to listen as they chat with each other, but there is only 3 feet of carpet tiles between us.
“So what’s his Rx, if you don’t mind me asking?” [translation = diagnoses]
“Not at all. He has sensory integration disorder and dysgraphia…..of course!”
“Oh course!" they giggle. "No autism then!”
Why does that sound rhetorical?
“OH NO! OF COURSE NOT!” she gasps, her hands to her mouth in that shy, private manner some people have.

They chuckle. A magic moment for two, the bond of friendship is forged.

I feel obliged to say something but I am at a loss to know exactly what, especially as I should not have been listening? It's one thing to be an advocate for your children, it's quite another to poke your nose into other people's private business. I opt for the line of least resistance. I shrink in my chair. A small person. An invisible person. I can almost feel the yellow neon stripe down my spine. Luckily I have my back to the wall. It is at such times that I wish to crawl under a very small rock and die quietly.

I am invisible for approximately 44 seconds before my boys explode out of their therapy session wailing. I sit in a chair with a 5 year old on bouncing on my knees. The six year old is by my side mid rain dance. They are VERY happy. They share their happiness in their own unique ways. Words are a little, few and far between. [translation = none on this particular occasion] My older boy concentrates on my upper arm, a tight grip with his slender fingers, his forehead burrows into my flesh, woodpecker style. [translation = very happy]

My youngest son contorts himself, as I discuss their sessions with their OT’s. [translation = occupational therapists] His skull is on my lap, his vertebrae curve up my body, his rear end hovers under my chin, his legs bicycle before us. I peek over his bottom to see a couple of open mouths on the opposite love seat, mothers with a different perspective.

I turn my gaze to the therapists, “good session then?” I ask rhetorically.
“Excellent!”

A magic moment for five – two skilled therapists, one mother and two boys. One year of progress.

I think I should be obliged to carry a small rock in my handbag, so it is freely available for me to boink myself on the head every so often. [translation = and two little ones to serve as ear plugs to make ear wigging aversive]

11 comments:

Tera said...

Aww, sometimes those autism moments come crashing in...and then we're hit with reality...and we realize our kids, autistic or not, are the joy in our lives...and being autistic, we can only focus on the growth, each moment, each day, each year...

Joeymom said...

will insist on discussing their children's health loudly (ie, not whispering or attempting to make the conversation private) in a room where the farthest you can sit is two feet away, then I consider myself part of the conversation, and will keep up my part of it. I'm usually more vocal with people who have decided that my consult with my OT or SLP includes them, and they have made commentary during this time, but anyone practically shouting is fair game.

We also do a lot of "networking" with the other regulars. I see some of these ladies two and three times a week. :P

kristina said...

Maybe just a squishy ball----

I would have liked to have been there in that waiting room with you, smiled at the other mothers-in-waiting, and said "My son has autism."

farmwifetwo said...

Actually, I take more pleasure when discussing the eldest... people are so shocked when you tell them.. "Yes, he has autism". I get "but he's so normal are you sure it's not ADHD" (he's hyper and bounces constantly... DUH!!! Just b/c he has full verbal skills (his bro is non-verbal - eldest was but he's mastered speech, language is nearly there) and doesn't hand flap nor wring his hand nor make vocal noises like his bro.. doesn't mean it's not autism.

And yes... if they aren't keeping the conversation private and are close... it's open to all.

S.

Natalia said...

lo que se perdieron! [translation: (they don't know) what they missed out on!]

Natalia said...

PS: if you said "mine are autistic" would they have pitied you? ick...

maybe better, like you did, to just wait for your kids and revel in the kidness of them...

Lainey-Paney said...

Seeing it from so many sides:

On the one hand, wouldn't you have felt AWESOME to put them in their place?? To say something?

On another hand, aren't there moments where you wish the boys weren't autistic? Honestly.Can you blame them for not wanting that dx for their child? I don't want it for mine. But, to be perfectly honest---I don't want any dx for my child. I just want him to be healthy.

But....knowing how attitude-y I can be (yes, I know that's not a word)...in the moment, I probably would have said something...something mean, and cutting, and hateful, just because on the inside, I would feel that they had judged my children & measured them up as "less than."

It's a tough spot to be in.

angelmeg said...

Just found your blog via Ironic Catholic. Small world, I have two children with atism spectrum disorders. Don't those mothers realize that Autism is the umbrella, and that whatever buzzwords they are using they all are covered by the spectrum? How silly of them to shy away from that.

my oldest is a 22 year old young man who is successfully employed, drives a car and manages his own bank account. He still lives at home but is on track to move out by the time he is 30.

my other is 18 and will graduate from high school next week. She has been integrated into regular education classes with support (inclusion) since elementary school. She doesn't talk much and doesn't sit still ever, but she was able to take honors English and writes like a college professor. She will probably go on to college with the proper supports.

Each day is a new lesson in patience and forbearance. My kids are amazing, and exactly the way God made them.

Yusuf Abdulla Shunan said...

what i have learn so far is the more personal something is the more universal that really is...

i like the way you translate...

take care and good luck...

VAB said...

You captured the moment well. I'll second what Natalia said.

There are people who are proud of the fact that they never eat foreign food, or that they've worked at the same job for 30 years. To each their own. I'm pretty certain that you have a more interesting life than they do, and it definitely sounds like the boys are going to grow up and have interesting lives too. Let them have their white-bread SID and dysgraphia.

LIVSPARENTS said...

How about answering "Well, we're taking them here to squeeze the homicidal tendencies out of them, but God no, they're NOT autistic!"

 
AddThis Social Bookmark Button