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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Autism – what really gets me down

If I had to describe what it is about autism that really gets on my pip, it would be the tiresomeness of it all. By this, I don’t mean how tiring autism is, [translation = the lie down and sleep kind of tiredness] but more the real tiresomeness of it all. [translation = annoyingness of it all]

It would be alright, I suppose, if what is true today, would also be true tomorrow, or yesterday, or the next 12 hours, or twelve minutes, for that matter, but it’s not, is it? [translation = rhetorical question]

What is true and accurate this second, may not be so in the next second. [translation = the second second] For example, quite often you can get away with lots of casual every day statements, comments, questions and other bits and pieces that make up an ordinary sort of conversation, without anyone taking issue with you. Then all of a sudden, just as you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security, you utter a few more words and all hell breaks loose for no apparent reason. It was o.k. for you to say what you said, two sentences ago, but now, someone has switched on their radar and you’re under attack from all sides for the most innocent of comments.

An example always helps in these instances. [translation = I hope] So you’re nipping along in your winkie dinkie little European car, with a truckload of passengers, on the wrong side of the road because you’re in England on holiday. You chat to the other adults in the car, as all people under the age of ten, are asleep. Because they are asleep, by definition, they are not listening. All radars are in the off position.

“It should be the next left I think?”
“Do you think?”
“I think so.”
“What do you think?”
“I can’t remember if it’s the next left or the left after the next, but thinking about it, I think you're right?”

This is four adult people in conversation about a tentative destination, where you cannot see the surrounding countryside because is it blinkered from view by ten foot hedgerows. As we dither, collectively, a small person is suddenly awake, with a complaint, a verbal one, “no more dah fink. Dat is stoopid. Shut up wiv dah fink. Dah fink is being silent in dah brain, not in dah mowf.” This dislodges another from slumberland, “yeah, what he said, er says, um said.” The last one wriggles with restlessness, “yeah, me too, all this thinking is far too noisy!”

It would see that they're not the only ones with volume control issues!

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bigwhitehat said...

Cheer up!

Jeni said...

Autism is such a multi-faceted entity, it seems no matter which way one turns, there is no answer, just another question.
Do YOU think what you are doing for your boys are actions in their best interests? Now, you know darned well, you do! Are they, at this point in time, able to comprehend and verbalize right, wrong -in any concept? At their ages, now -no, so it's up to you, as their parent, as the protector, the teacher, the one who loves them unequivocally, to make the choices for them. And, you're seeing positive outcomes from your actions too aren't you? Ok, maybe not at the speed YOU might like, but as long as things are changing, improving for all concerned, I think that's the important thing.
You can always use another of my favorite sayings to my kids when they were growing up and somethings didn't go the way they (or I) would have liked to have seen them happen -"It will be better before you get married again." Initially, the kids would look at me confused because obviously a 10 year old or younger has never been married once, not even probably thought of it, and why should he/she be worrying about it -which was my point entirely there. It will be better or in another way of putting it, "It will all come out in the wash" too!

Suzanne said...

sigh.You are doing a great job of mothering! Love the smooshing snapshot!There's been some talk on YouTube about that peculiarly autistic expression of affection.
You know how some people are "control freaks"? Any expectation of control in our lives could only make more stress. imo. I have recently discovered I am a bit of a "chaos freak". I cannot stand things staying the same. lucky me!

n. said...

maybe you should get autism hub to use your new link, then ppl would go there first.

Linda said...

I'm sure it's moments like that when you really have to hold back a gale of laughter because it's just so logically funny! Of course thinking is supposed to be quiet and in the head - never question the logic of a child - even a sleeping one!

The Shepcarpclan said...

Love the photos. Got a big laugh out of the noisy thinking comment. Thanks.

hope4jackson said...

I enjoyed this post. I could so relate to the annoyance of it all! You are a certain treasure to your children!

Anonymous said...

Just caught up with your last 3 posts, well written as always. Every day is a struggle for children and families with autism but we just learn to accept it as a struggle and learn how to manage it efficiently. I people look, give them something to look at. I've trained Amy to say "hello" to nosey passers by who can't take their ignorant eyes off us as we innocently walk down the road whilst Amy spits, scratches her bottom (hand down pants), punches me in the arm, has a screaming paddy because I won't let her cross the road when there's a 40ft lorry heading towards us.

You're a wonderful parent. Autism gets me down too. Amy, however, doesn't.

Crystal xx

Sarah said...

At least they're funny in their inconsistencies! ;)

dgibbs said...

He is so smart! Took me a minute to think about what he meant. Duh! of course, you think in your head. What a bunch of silly adults. haha

ASD mum said...

I wrote to the lovely people who've been working with our family in the Family Interaction Program run by Griffith University asking for help with the latest batch of challenges. The succinct response really summed it up:

"It must be exhausting!"

Yes, but I can't imagine being a 'normal' parent!

Jade said...

I definitely understand what you mean about the tiresomeness of it all, not from a parental standpoint but I understand none the less. Its ever changing. There are no constants and one must maintain flexibility to stay sane.
Luckily you're able to keep a sense of humor about it all which I think is awesome and healthy to boot. You're doing a great job don't lose sight of that.

The Chick said...

I can't add much of anything important except to say that I really feel you. Great post.

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