It's All Okay

Just a mom blogging about life with an autistic child.

Location: Canada

I'm a stay at home mom with two boys. Patrick is my youngest and has ASD.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Autism is...

Oh my. That's a loaded sentence fragment.

What she actually said was "So, how does Patrick show symptoms of autism" or something like that. I admit I was dumbfounded. I had absolutely no idea what to say.

Eventually some words stumbled out of my mouth.

"Um, well, he doesn't do change of routine very well."

What? Is that the understatement of the year? I guess it didn't sound very bad to her because she raised her eyebrows, obviously expecting more.

"Gee, I dunno, he still has some language problems and some processing problems, but I guess speech isn't as big a thing as before, he initiates conversation now. "

Nope, not only still not a winner, but also kind of skips over a long, arduous process of getting him to speak more than echolalia.

"I guess his biggest hurdle right now is social."

Aha, I got her. Social development is a big deal.

"How so?", she fires right back.


I ended with some feeble comment about how Patrick doesn't end at one spot and Autism doesn't begin at that same spot. I said something half-heartedly about how Patrick just is autistic and I'm afraid I just can't point out to you exactly how or why he is, it's just who he is. And a parting comment about how autism isn't just a list of 'issues' or 'manifestations' and it certainly isn't expressed only in the negative traits present in a given individual.


Blogger farmwifetwo said...

I have learned to keep some of the "how do you know" in my head. Not just for friends, but for Dr's and social programs.

It's hard to explain something to an outsider that doesn't live with it 24/7 when your child no longer "looks (flapping etc)/sounds (echolalia)/ etc" textbook autistic.


Mon Mar 03, 06:21:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Marla said...

Very hard to explain. I have been in this situation numerous times and it is always tough.

Mon Mar 03, 08:48:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Casdok said...

Its weird isnt it. Even after 19 years of living with autism, when someone asks me what it is my mind goes blank!
The things my son does is just him, its now all a normal way of life for us!

Mon Mar 03, 08:54:00 AM 2008  

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