Autism Watch: 2007

He Can’t Wear an “I Have Autism” T-shirt, Right?

Posted on: July 22, 2009

My little guy’s last couple of weeks have been rough. Not sure why — it started before the aborted camp attempt, and it was after school was out, by a couple of weeks, so we can’t figure out what’s up. He’s just more edgy, more easily irritated, and he yells a lot more. A lot. So, I shouldn’t be surprised that today was no different.

Before I go further, let me just say I’m getting over a nasty case of the stomach flu that I thought was going to kill me. The kind where someone’s stabbing your stomach back up through your throat and out your mouth with about 30 sharp spears. The kind that leaves you dry but still nauseated, exhausted but unable to sleep, with joint aches and pains that should only come with a three-story fall. (Not that I know what that feels like, but I can guess now that I’ve had this flu.) It started after ingesting a yummy dinner of chicken tortilla soup that seven of us — I feel the need to specify that only three of us got sick, and not all right away, so no, it wasn’t food poisoning. (I made the soup, so you can see why I’d want to specify that.) A few hours later, I was down for the count. I’m still not feeling myself, and I’m sure it’s affecting my mood.

That said, I let ds play outside today while I sprawled on the couch. I can hear him playing with the kids, but wasn’t prepared for when he ran in screaming, sobbing, red-faced. “She yelled at me!” Initially, I wanted to go have it out with “she,” but reason kicked in..that and my husband reminding me that the little guy has his own perception of reality and we needed to get the story from someone else first. In the end, we learned that the situation was handled with less harshness than he saw, and was nowhere near as bad as he understood it to be. But, that’s the problem, in a nutshell.

For one thing, I can’t expect other people to know my son has different ways of seeing things, that he takes things literally, that for him, it’s ALL A BIG DEAL. Others don’t necessarily know how to handle him, or that he even needs any special handling at all. And I can’t go around telling everyone — it’s not like I can put him in a t-shirt that says “I Have Autism,” but yet we put him out there and expect him to learn how to deal…when in reality, few people let him be around their kids long enough to learn, whether or not we tell them. In this particular case from today, he’s still able to play with the kids, but then we have the second issue: how to get him to understand? He’s abrupt and says what he’s thinking and feeling, he can’t always communicate his feelings appropriately or gently enough, and he doesn’t understand give and take. It’s all just so difficult and leaves me feeling, again, like I can’t do enough.

So what do you do? How do you let them out in a world they’re not prepared for, or that’s not prepared for them?

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1 Response to "He Can’t Wear an “I Have Autism” T-shirt, Right?"

There are tshirts…lol…
http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/autism

Thank you! I’m going to check them out. There are definitely places we’re going that a t-shirt would come in handy.

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