Humor and Autism
Sometimes you gotta laugh, or you'll cry.
Autism Spectrum Disorder has reared its tilted head in spades across the globe. 1 in 110 kids are diagnosed somewhere on the spectrum. What's so funny about it? Well, not a whole lot, to be honest. But you have to find the humor in your particular child, or you will end up feeling like you just can't do it anymore. I might mention that 1 in 110 kids is diagnosed with Autism on a national level, but you should check out the diagnostic numbers in your state. I recently discovered that the number in my state is 1 in 85. Such numbers are astonishing and really make you wonder why the incidence is going up. As the saying goes, "It is what it is."
Laugh your way to sanity.
Laughter really is the best medicine: for both of you.
Parents of kids with Autism know that their child has some seriously quirky behaviors. As a parent of a child with Autism myself, I love to go out in public and see autistic traits in other people. I haven't embarrassed myself yet by asking if someone has Autism only to be told no, so that is good. My problem is I can't wait for someone else to ask me about my daughter. I think she's cool, crawling down the street like a dog, and not caring at all what other people think. I ask her if she is being a dog or a cat. As soon as I notice someone looking or staring, I blurt out, "She has Autism!" I don't know what I'm expecting in return. I think something like, "Oh, I see now." But they never say that. Instead, they say, "Well, that's all right." So then it sounds like I was apologizing for her. But I wasn't! I think Autism is fascinating. She smells things that the rest of us can't smell. She notices things the rest of us can't see. And she hears things that the rest of us can't hear. For example, she was asking who was coming over. "Mrs. Diaz." She said, "Are we having cheese quesaDIAZ"? I laughed so hard. She heard Diaz and put it together with quesadilla, and furthermore, it was appropriate. Why wouldn't a latin woman bring quesadillas with her? You gotta record these moments and appreciate them. Smiling releases endorphins, and then you don't go crazy when your child asks who is coming over. For the 90th time.
How does the person with autism affect your life? My kids have all developed an amazing reserve of patience because of our experience with autism.
Sometimes when I stumble across a gigantic mess my dd made, I will think of it in terms of how my friends will react when I tell them the story. It helps to put it in perspective so that I don't quite lose it.