The boys have been gone all week. My parents had them in Nashville. We have only done this about once a year, so having a whole week without the boys is pretty weird. I did what I always do, which is fantasize about coming home from work and going straight to bed. What I actually did was tackle a billion projects and wear myself out.
But I definitely still had time to think about some things.
1) Mom mentioned Tyler only likes strong hugs. You learn when you spend time with an autistic person that touching is difficult. Light, stimulating touches are very uncomfortable. But firm, anchoring touches are good. So if you have an autistic person you have been wanting to hug but they always shy away, consider holding them instead. Everybody needs to be touched, we just have to learn how to speak different touching languages.
2) We have been trying to potty-train Tyler for a long time and we would see a little progress and then it would fall back. Mom brought Ash (2-year-old younger brother) home potty-trained. Tyler just isn’t ready and I just need to accept that and quit trying to get him to line up to my timeline.
3) Mom also sent me this picture of one of Tyler’s structures. (see end of post) It really brought home to me the belief that I really don’t like the term Autism Spectrum Disorder. What makes a disorder? Developmental delays? What is a developmental delay? Just because Tyler isn’t average, does that make him delayed. What about the categories he is advanced in? If the world didn’t have autistic people like Einstein, wouldn’t we have suffered for the loss? We applaud unique perspective. Why is the line drawn for autistic people? Why can’t Tyler have Autism Spectrum Personality? The only reason he has to receive so much treatment is because he is a minority in a non-autistic world. If you were all of a sudden placed in a non-verbally oriented world full of people who related to each other based on outright deed instead of body language undercurrents, would you want to be considered disabled just because you were different? I wish the world could see the Tyler I see. He is so precious and loving and a block-building genius.
From my heart,
Please consider a donation to Autism Speaks at http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/arkansas/rflinchum
(C) Rachel Flinchum 7/21/2013