Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Do Sharks Have Autism?

     Recently (which is my way of saying months ago,) my son was playing in the bathtub.  In the midst of all the washing and splashing and tra-la-la-ing, something happened that made my stomach drop.  My dear, sweet, perfect, lovely, made of muffins, angel baby looked up at me and asked, "Mommy, what's different?" Now, I've always found it difficult to explain the definitions of words to people.  It's pretty much my only flaw.  Nonetheless, I stuttered and hmmmed and hawed my way through an explanation.  Success!  He seemed to be picking up what I was laying down.  However, my figurative (and maybe literal) self back-patting came to a screeching halt when I heard his follow-up question.  "Mommy, why am I different?"
     Cue heart breaking and dramatic music.  It has been almost a year now since Skeletor was diagnosed as Autistic, but at this point we had not yet had The Talk with him.  I knew it was coming, but I just didn't think it would be so soon.  I would have explained it all to him as soon as we left the doctor's office last May, but he didn't possess the communication skills.  (He's come a long way in speech therapy!)  Also, I'm chicken, and I was scared of scarring him for life with the utter debacle I was sure to make of my explanation.
     So, in complete terror, I kind of half-assed my way through the standard "everyone is different, and that's a good thing" speech.  But I could tell Skeletor wasn't completely satisfied with this answer.  Another, more in depth conversation would be coming soon.  I must away to the interwebs!  I knew that I wanted to start the conversation by reading him a book about Autism (see above poultry-like attributes,) but which one to pick?  Although there doesn't seem to be an over-abundance of books on the subject, I was still stuck.  I wanted it to be perfect.  After much research and study-age and such, I finally decided on "Ben Has Autism.  Ben Is Awesome."

You can find the book by clicking this here linky-poo.
     I ordered the book and awaited its arrival with bated breath.  It was a lovely little book, and served its purpose by setting us up for The Talk.  After we finished reading it, I dove in head first.  I reminded Skeletor of our "why am I different" conversation.  And then I just said it.  I told him that he has Autism, which is why he gets so upset sometimes and has trouble staying still (among other things.)  And I also told him that Autism is part of what makes him so absolutely gangster (our household word for cooler than being cool.)  I'm sure other things of the deep and meaningful variety were said, but it's kind of all a blur.  But the one thing that I will never forget?  After I stressed myself out so badly over this talk, the very first thing that popped out of his mouth when I asked him if he had any questions was, "Do sharks have Autism?"  I repeat, the kid is perfection.

Pictured: hilarity.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stuff. And Things.

     Hi, everyone!  Did you miss me?  Was your life a deep, black, soul-sucking abyss without me?  No?  Ok, that's cool, too.  I have been on what some may call a sabbatical, but what I like to refer to as my bi-annual nervous breakdown.  Don't worry.  I wasn't hauled off in a self-hugging white coat or anything.  I just had to jettison all the unnecessary luggage in my life for a while so we didn't all go down in flames.  But things are beginning to smooth themselves out a little, so I'm going to be catching you up on everything you've missed in the last three months.  Which, believe it or not, we actually had some pretty big moments.  It began when Skeletor asked me why he was different.  Then came the Talk, when we told him that he has Autism.  We also had the talk with the siblings.  Then I went to the kids' school to talk to them about Autism.  There have also been tons of other non-Autism-y things, as well.  As there often are, you know?  But, I digress.  The point is that I'm back.  Rejoice.  I command it.  (Please?)

This was here.