Thursday, April 25, 2013

There's Always a Full Moon in Autism Land!

Holy effin' ess.  Holy.  Effin'. Ess.

Things have gotten especially weird here.  Just when we think we're making progress, the boy loses his effin' mind and is baying at the moon.  
Blame it on the moon.

The old problems are back.  Obsessing over a ratty shirt.  Not sleeping.  Getting clingy during therapy.  And now...bedwetting!  (He's been dry at night for over a year, and now this?!)

The boy didn't just wet any bed.  He wet our bed.  And he didn't just wet it--he hosed that mother down.  We're not sure how he did it, really.  So we moved him to his bed, changed the sheets, and went to sleep...for a few hours.  Then, at three o'clock this morning, he woke up raring to go, and demanded the damn Phineas and Ferb shirt.  Then he wanted cereal.  And juice.  And a video.  And when none of that satisfied him, he decided that everyone needed to be up with him.  So he jumped on his brother, turned on all the lights, and dumped chocolate milk on our newly-changed sheets.

He kept this up until it was time to leave for school.  Then he sat down on the toilet and peed all over the front of THE shirt.  So I made him change, which caused a hysterical scene of crying, screaming, and running shirtless out of the house.  I am the meanest mommy ever.

(I mainlined coffee all day at work.  I'm pretty sure nothing I said made any sense, but that's ok because I teach middle school, and they don't understand sense.) 

We arrived home from school, and were hit with the stench of piss and God-knows-what-else when we opened the door.  While vacuuming and febrezing madly, I noticed a brown stain on our long, gauzy curtains, and I knew the awful truth before I even took a sniff...

The boy had used our bedroom curtains to wipe his ass.

And that, Gentle Reader, is when I started to cry.  This time it was poop, and it was just too much.

I don't think it's just me or just my kid.  It seems that many of my ASD-parent friends (including all y'all I've met online) are reporting that their children, too, are going stark raving mad.  I mean, we're a resilient bunch, so if our kids are acting wacky enough to worry us, something is going on.

There is a full moon tonight.  Is there something to that?  Maybe things will calm down tomorrow and it'll be smooth sailing...until May 25th!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Autism Superpower

I could write a book about the dumb-ass things that nice people say.  Or the thoughtful questions they ask.

Can trash a room in no time flat.
"So...what's he into?" they ask.
"Oh, you know...Mr. Potato Head, Play-doh, messy stuff."
"Yeah, but what's his thing?  Like, what is he really good at?"

Oh, you mean the Autism Superpower?

That's exactly what they mean.  People see my kid stimming his face off on a tire swing and think he can count cards at a casino.  Or maybe he's a secret piano prodigy.  They see his wacked-out hair and ask if he's an artist.  Yeah, he's an effin' artist.  His favorite media are poop and toothpaste.

My son is good at a lot of things.  He can make us laugh.  He can make us drink.  He can make us appreciate every achievement, no matter how small.  He can keep us up at all fuckin' hours with demands for cereal and Handy Manny.  We're pretty sure he can pick locks.

Can't it be enough that our son can finally, at age five, tell people his name if they ask?  Or say what he likes to eat?  (His first response to this social question was "food."  He's since gotten more specific, which is impressive.  Incidentally, an ASD kid liking "food" to eat as opposed to something else is also impressive.)  He's worked so hard just to learn to point, people!  And you want him composing an opera?

I think they think that if my son has a special gift, then they don't have to feel bad about autism.  It's easier for them to take.  It's a comfort to think, Yeah, her kid has autism, but in a few years, he's going to invent something better than Twinkies or Paypal, and then she'll be set. 

Maybe he will.  Maybe he won't.  And if my kid develops a special talent, I will shout it from the rooftops.

But right now, I'd settle for him wiping his own ass.  That's an effin' superpower.  I'll make him a cape if he pulls that off.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. Skid marks on my bedspread make me cry.

"POOPING!!!!" shouts a voice down the hall.
My husband and I freeze.  Is he actually telling us that he's pooping?  I run into the bathroom to find the boy sitting on the toilet with a big grin on his face.
"Did you poop?" I ask.
TP--it's not just for playtime anymore.
"Pooped!" he replies.  I look.  He did.  It's huge.
"Good job telling Mommy!"  I congratulate him and pick up a wet wipe.
"Bend over," he says, before I can tell him.  I wipe him, we wash hands, and we celebrate.


We are celebrating that my son did not attempt to wipe with his bare hands and smear it on his legs.  We are also celebrating that he didn't skip wiping all together and then sit bare-assed on the couch, the piano keys, or our bed--like he did yesterday.

We've slept in many a skid mark.  I know it's gross.  There have been times that we've been too tired to notice.

Poop or chocolate?  Poop or chocolate?  Oh, God help me, it's poop.

I know parents of toddlers who've said those words.  We say them often.  Our son is five.

It's gotten to the point where we're cool with any crisis as long as it doesn't involve poop.  It's become our motto.

"He smeared toothpaste on the mirror."
"At least it's not poop."
"He stuck play-doh in the carpet."
"At least it's not poop."
"He's throwing a tantrum."
"At least he's not throwing poop."

Poop is an important topic for parents of ASD kids. "autism and poop."  Your computer will blow up.