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Monday, June 17, 2013

You're Always Redefining Normal When You've Got A Kid With Autism

One of the problems with being an autism Mom is that sometimes, you forget your kid does odd stuff.

You're around this kid day in and day out, and for you, these little quirks and stims and repetitive behaviors are just part of the daily routine for you. Unnoticed. Unremarkable.


Until you're out and someone notices him doing something not normal (whatever we define that as, anyway) or, as in my case, you've hired your summer babysitter and she shows up and your son is doing not normal stuff.

For starters, he was singing the theme to "Martha Speaks" - a terrific PBS show that he loves - at the top of his lungs. Which is not out-of-bounds for a kid, but he was changing the words. "Martha Speaks" became "Martha Stinks" and "She speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks" turned into "She toots and farts and poops and farts and stinks." Ha! Because farts are funny, even if you're a neuro-typical boy of nine, but a neuro-typical boy of nine would most likely understand that we don't sing that in front of company.

And he wouldn't shriek when the toothpaste you put on his toothbrush doesn't go all the way to the edge of the bristles.

And he wouldn't keep asking you over and over and over if you're going to be taking your Kia car to work today.

And he wouldn't demand that he only get the sunblock from the blue bottle, falling into tears when he sees you reach for one of the other bottles by accident.

And he wouldn't ask the babysitter if her car has a gearshift. A hundred times. And you wouldn't have to warn the babysitter that he thinks a pull-up emergency brake is a gearshift and he'll try to pull it up while you're driving sometimes.

Oh, the many and myriad things you forget your kid does that make him not normal.

To everyone else, anyway.

Redefining normal is an everyday occurrence in the house that autism built.

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