Someone tell me what the equation is.
The one that lets me in on the secrets of the Autistic mind.
I spend the majority of the hours in the day attempting to configure exactly what will help my son thrive, and perhaps even more importantly, what will help avoid a meltdown.
I was never good at math. In fact, I joke that I’m the worst person at math that I know.
So give this Mama a math problem, and she’s reaching out for help from the class.
But what happens when the “math problem” is your child’s special needs world?
What happens when there is no solution? At least not one that you can simplify.
I cut crusts off of sandwiches, and some days that’s not what you wanted.
Maybe I cut it into the wrong shape.
I can pick out the most comfy shoes, with no laces, for less distraction, and sometimes you’d rather just go without .
I could create and teach a course on what the inside of every pair of pants feels like, in every store in town.
Because this mama does her research.
Like “Goldie Locks”, for clothing.
This pair is too rough. This pair it too slinky. This pair is just right! (Or so I think).
You, my sweet boy, are becoming more sensitive to some materials as you grow older. But some days, the research fails, and putting on clothing is a struggle all together.
I go through various objects, trying to imagine if it is what you’re after, for a “stim” toy.
Is it squishy?
Is it soft?
Does it light up?
And most importantly, is it safe?
Nothing too small, Nothing with little parts. Nothing you can bite or take apart. And nothing too hard (since you use your chest like a little drum).
Right now your “jam” is spoons. It’s adorable, and fascinating, all in one breath.
So mama stocks the cupboards. You want spoons? We are on it! Your joy is the brightest light in our life.
And then… you’d want, say, forks instead.
How do I help you in the hardest parts if I don’t know how?
How do I stop a meltdown from a sneeze, when I don’t know why it troubles you so?
How do I know when to cut off sandwich crusts, when pants are fine or “leg prisons”, and what stim object to have on hand for you next, when I don’t know the pattern?
How do I solve a problem written in invisible ink?
4 thoughts on “Give Me A Sign”
You say you’d like help with understanding autism. Here is my favorite resource: https://www.wikihow.com/Category:Autism-Spectrum
The subcategories are near the bottom. Many of the writers who work on these articles are autistic, myself included, and it’s full of advice and information to help you understand autism better.
It sounds like one of his biggest problems right now, though, isn’t autism, but sensory processing disorder. I have SPD too, but not nearly as badly as it sounds like he does.
Giving him spoons and stim toys is a wonderful idea. Activities like that help him de-stress and self-regulate. That’s good parenting, and don’t forget it. Hopefully, he’ll build communication and emotional awareness skills over time that’ll help him explain things better to you. It likely won’t be this hard forever.
I wish I had more advice/help for SPD, but I don’t. My sensory issues are worse with hearing, and it still hurts and plagues me. (If only there were a cure for SPD…) So all I can say is that having a mom who believes him, and who tries to help him, makes a big difference. It’s lonely when the world can hurt and people judge you for it. But having someone on your side for the whole thing makes a huge difference.
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Thank you very much for that insight and for taking the time to reach out in response!
Beckett does clearly battle with some SPD, though not formally diagnosed as such.
I try as hard as I can to educate myself and those around me, as much as possible.
It’s the only thing we can arm ourselves with to help after all, right? 🙂
Thank you for being here and for sharing your story with us!
We are glad you are here!
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I try to educate myself and others too. I consider myself lucky to be living a relatively comfortable and peaceful life as an autistic person. That wasn’t always the case, and I want other autistic people to be happy like I am now. So I share lots of info and hope that it helps. The wikiHow articles are one of those projects; I find them a useful place to consolidate the information I’ve gathered. Plus, I like doing the art.
I’m always happy to connect with autistic people and their loved ones. I hope the resources I’ve shared do some good for you. Also, just so you know, you can go online anytime to the #AskingAutistics hashtag to ask for tips on helping your son. 🙂
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You are doing a great job! I know this is worrisome for you, just as your worry and doubt become worrisome for your momma. I love you! Keep the faith and “advocating like a mother.”
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