Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all
And sweetest is the gale is heard; and sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm...
~Emily Dickinson

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hall of shame...

If you have an Autistic child you know all too well those moments you have when out in public with your kiddo.
The high pitched screams along with the most amazing temper tantrums ever to be had...and even accompanied sometimes with the release of bodily fluids. Oh yes, they are a joy.

Then there are those moments when the second your child gets out of the car, or out of the front door of a building they BOLT...at high speeds right into traffic, streets, people, whatever is out there. They have NO sense of safety or environmental awareness at all. I have learned to always wear my running shoes when out in public with Kannon, because god knows I will be running after him at some point.

There is also the obvious lack of language skills. When you have a large child, like Kannon, people expect him to be speaking in full sentences to me about anything and everything.
WOW are they surprised when instead they hear "ticka ticka ticka...baby please"
Mind you we are on the playground and there is no baby in sight. "ticka ticka ticka" are verbal ticks that these kids sometimes have, and they sound just like that. No words, just sounds and they repeat them over and over again.
I also was blessed with a child who has the loudest voice I have ever heard. His pitch is something dogs can hear in Texas. He has NO volume control within him.
Needless to say there is no hiding his verbal ticks or whatever sounds come out of his mouth.

Kannon likes to "communicate" sometimes by using lines from Disney movies that he watches.
I should be more honest here, he becomes obsessed with a particular movie and it is all that can be on our t.v for a week straight...over and over and over again.
So he learns lines from them quickly and will use them to talk to me sometimes.
There was a period when I was "Gary" the snail from Spongebob Squarepants.

Kannon's annunciation is also not the greatest at times. So when he does use some words they don't come out sounding like they should...
For example, fish sounds like bitch...
Crab sounds like crap...
SO the day we went to San Clemente Pier was fun...he stood there yelling "BITCH" and "CRAP"
Yes, I got some looks...

Kannon always has surprises for me when we go out.
Whether it is running around Target yelling "BITCH" because he found a stuffed Nemo, or fondling the mannequins at Old Navy(Kannon loves mannequins..), or lifting up complete strangers shirts to look at their belly buttons, it is always an adventure.

Bottom line:
DO NOT let anyone else dictate how your day should be with your child.
You experience the day and let them stare at you with disapproving looks and glares.
I have even had other mothers tell me that I should not let my child act that way....or they have asked me why he isn't talking yet...or if I have considered medicating him...

It amazes me the nerve some parents have.
NO child is perfect, and until people understand Autism better we will get the worst looks of all.
I can only imagine what other people think sometimes...
But I really don't care. Kannon has a neurological disorder that he has no control over.
That is the truth. This is the truth we need to get out to others...it's called Autism.

I can only do my best. I can only love him and keep him safe, but I can't shelter him forever.
He deserves the freedoms other kids have too. Just because Kannon is different I will not keep him inside away from the scrutiny of the public eye...he is not a wild animal, even though he may act like one at times:)
I also choose not to judge other people because you just don't know what their story is.
We should all start trying to do the same.

Compassion for others...


  1. Hi

    I am setting up a site http://www.autisminformationservice.com and your comment about not keeping your child inside is something that more parents need to think about.

    Whilst it can be difficult I am convinced the more you shelter children the more likely they are to go into themselves and less likely to interact.

    Anyway I love your blogs keep up the great work.

    All the best


  2. Keep on telling it like it is chick... ;)
    PS My son also spoke to us using Disney & Pixar movie scripts... I also had to learn how to speak back to him using the script too... doing my line after he did his! Eventually, as he got a little older his language of choice became The Simpsons... his father has the same sense of humour so he would sit and watch it with him most nights while I cooked dinner... we still use it as a point of reference when explaining sarcasm and some confusing situations. They deal with EVERYTHING on The Simpsons! ;) I think "the experts" call this sort of thing "social stories".