So, if you’ve read the “about” blurb, then you know I have a child with Autism; and not the “oh, he’s quirky” kind… the full blown, unable to communicate, still wearing diapers at 8, kind. He is however, a sweet, loving, chill little man; at least when it’s just me and him (and very few others). Adding most others, even his Dad and siblings, turns him into a completely different person. I’m talking about a mean, loud, overly emotional and sensitive lad, who can’t even stand to be around himself (we all know that kid who is a jerk about everything, always tantruming, whining and crying about the tiniest things, heck, it could be your kid; and if it is, don’t be disheartened, eventually 90% grow out of that).
This poses difficult questions though… How do I get that loving, sweet boy to display around others? Or how do I seclude him from his immediate family enough to keep him from losing it? The latter question is harder to accomplish than the former, in that we all abide under the same roof; in a very small house. It’s not a “tiny” house, but it is the next step up from one (we can discuss how Autism sucks any and all funds from a household, extra or otherwise, which we could use to obtain a bigger house, but instead are screwed, in another post).
So, dinky home… We rent a 600sq ft place, down a 3mile dirt driveway, that is 40 mins (on a good day) away from the nearest beacon of civilization. My front yard and backyard consist of cliff faces, one up and one down. While this place is “technically” a 2 bedroom, the second room is up a flight of stairs that is at a 70° angle, there’s no way in hell my son is going to navigate that without breaking his neck, since I can barely pull it off, and he is notorious for tripping on air. Consequently, we do not use the second room, literally – for fear of death. Though, I do let my 5 yr old go up there to play video games or relax and veg on her tablet when she needs alone time, but she has slightly better coordination (like a monkey slings slightly less poo in a zoo than in the wild), and as such, I worry about her “demise by stairs” a bit less.
A family, crammed together in a small space, is bad enough, but add the spice of Autism to the mix and you have yourself the best recipe ever for Armageddon; better than mom’s home cooking and now with 50% less selflessness, and 30% more fallout.
How, then, do I, as the “parent” possibly hope to keep them separated in this situation? The obvious answer is, I don’t; Nor do I even attempt it. It falls on me, to my dismay (because I’m horrible at it), to figure out new ways to either keep everyone occupied but in their own “zone”, or to make sure they are doing things that my son is “ok” with; which can vary by the hour (he spent 2 months strait studying the flags and countries of the world, to such great extremes that he memorized them all, but now, could give a rats ass about any of it). More often than not my attempts fail and my household becomes a 3 ring circus, complete with those poo flinging monkeys, for at least an hour; once it settles down, we might be lucky enough to have peace for another 30 minutes before round 2 starts.
The motto in my house has become “1 hour at a time”. Which makes me envious of any 12 step program, at least they get a whole day. All of this is mostly due to the 5 yr old, who wants to do everything on Earth she possibly can and all at the same time (ADD? Maybe, but she’s 5, and most children that age are “hyper”) I’m constantly trying to keep her out of her brothers face; which is a lot like playing pinball, but a lot less mind-numbing-fun and way more “calgon take me away” in real life.
In the end, I posed a question and don’t really have an answer to or even a temporary solution (if you’re hoping for “pearls of wisdom”, you’re in the wrong place; I have only “turds of truth”). “They” say (whoever “they” are) that it gets better, but I doubt “they” were ever in any such predicament. So, until a solution comes to me in an amazing epiphany or dream… I have my wine…And it’ll have to do.
#Autism #truth #family #wtefmoments