Kids are embarrassing. They are not yet socially adept enough to know when to be silent. When to smile and look interested no matter what. You know all those incredibly truthful statements butttt not appropriate.(following comments are heard on America’s Funniest Videos not us, please Lord not us!)
“Mom lets go this guy smells funny.”
“Mom you said grandma’s losing it, can we help her find it?”
“Dad I can fart louder than you! Wanta hear!”
“How many babies does she have in her belly, it’s huge.”
Many of these are a reflection on something we said to our spouse or something we know we never should have said. Then there is the just loud and crazy kids in quiet places. When you throw sensory issues and autism on the into the mix life gets really interesting. We found that out one day at our local library.
I had taken all 5 kids to the local library at the end of the afternoon. We had our books and my son wanted to leave. The littlest ones were wrapping up the games and putting away the toys we had used. At the time my son was extremely driven by his sensory issues and his autism.
Soon it was all I could do to get everyone to the check out. As we stood in line my son began to really get physically agitated jumping, rubbing on the table near us. Then as I was checking out he began running laps around the librian’s desk. I repeatedly tried to stop him, and keep control of his sister that wanted to join in. I was able to control the girls but G was too wired and agitated.
The librarian was mad and I looked around and it felt like the entire library was staring at us. I panicked!
“It’s not his fault! He has autism!” I grabbed the kids and left.
I was hit by such a wave and anger and guilt. My son was crying and literally shaking from being overwhelmed in the library. I took one look at him and my anger at him melted. I cried with him. I was angry at AUTISM! I was angry at myself. I was guilty for what I saw as a giving in and calling his behaviour autism based.
It took me years to finally be able to understand that saying this is an “autistic tendency” or “this is sensory based behaviour” is not giving them an excuse to misbehave. It is the first step on the road to properly fixing that behaviour. If I don’t understand that his lack of shaking hands stems from an OCD not a desire to be rude or his lack of listening to me. I can then help him overcome that OCD, look at the situation differently.
When I made that break through in my thinking it also created a mutual bond. My child and I are fighting this other thing called autism. TOGETHER we are stronger and TOGETHER we will overcome everything we possibly can!
One more lovely thought here is that when you teach your child to trust you and have faith in your guidance you are modeling how they should trust the Lord. Think of it as another way to share the Lord’s love with your child.
We recently went to the library, same one, and we were able to get in. Get a ton of books and get back out. That little boy that ran willy nilly years ago got his first library card!
Reposted (6/14/10) for the Autism Awareness month.