With April right around the corner….I thought long and hard about what I wanted to express to my readers and to others in the world about what autism is. So many wonderful things going on to help raise awareness and acceptance in the community and I knew that I wanted my voice once again to be part of it. Usually my house is full of blogging gold, oodles and oodles of wonderful stuff to write about, but I’ve had some writers block. Then it hit me! I needed to ask the YuckMouths what autism meant to them! Now I asked the younger two, and they weren’t sure and that is ok. I don’t think they totally understand it yet, they are still young and aren’t as aware of differences in people yet. So I went to my two oldest, who know just as much as I do about how hard it is sometimes to live with autism. The following is their stories….
Teen 1, boy 14yrs old
To me autism is a lifelong challenge that we’re going to have to face. Racer can progress get smarter but it’ll be harder for him then it is for other kids. He’s not like the other kids you see walking to school all the time, he’s different in a way that I think no one will understand, until you have lived with him. Before I found out that Racer had autism my friends would make fun of children that were disabled. Now that I know what it is like to have a brother with autism , its not funny. When they make jokes about them I tell them if that was your brother or sister would you still laugh and they say no. And I tell them why do you do it then? And I don’t think they understand what its like to be in my shoes and if they did I’m pretty sure once they see Racer that they’ll look at the kids that are disabled differently and realize its not funny.
Teen 2, girl 13yrs old
Autism to me is like more of a challenge to the kids to do better in life. At times it seems really hard but for Racer it made him more unique. For one thing its hard to explain, but what I fell about it is that its difficult not only for the child but for the family as well. And its really sad why they have autism and other disorders. So many questions for it. Autism to me is something kids and adults have, it effects their life really hard sometimes. Puts them in a difficult place. Makes me want to learn more and more about it. I wonder how it is for the child to have autism. To always feel that they are in a strange place or a is it like a scary dream. Or for Racer like he’s always in a fun house that is bad and scary sometimes.
What Autism Is To Me….
He looks like every other kid on the block, but he isn’t. He is my son and he is affected by autism. It isn’t a sometimes thing it’s every breathing moment, from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed. And when he’s asleep its still there. Now it can get better and some days it isn’t as bad as others but it is always there. Autism isn’t friendless but it is peerless because he doesn’t have an real friends his own age. Me and his dad and his sibs are his friends and sometimes that is ok.
Autism is screaming about water and changes in routine, screaming about noises I can’t hear, lights that don’t bother me and food that tastes just fine to me. Autism is dino shaped chicken nuggets that must always be in my freezer with a healthy stock of ketchup. Autism is always counting the bricks in front of the church as I walk him to school in the morning, and autism is the days we don’t make it to school because 30 kids are to much for him to handle everyday. Autism is his kinder teacher and the school district not understanding his needs and giving him “autistic like” label and not giving him the therapy he needs.
Autism is smiling and laughing and crying and running and repeating, and meltdowns. Autism is not temper tantrums, spoiled kids and bad parenting. Autism doesn’t just effect the person who has it, but everyone who lives with it. Its a mother wishing her child could hug her even though she knows that her child loves her; autism is a father wishing he could share the simple things like the meaning of sports and why farting is funny and not gross.
Autism isn’t just hand flapping, and spinning. It’s all sorts of stims in all sorts of ways. Autism is not Rainman and autism is not retarded or stupid.
For me it will always be counting the bricks in front of the church and the simple love of dinosaurs, trains and action figures and always remembering what ones he already has. Autism is me hugging my son tight no matter what. My voice is loud enough for both of us and my love is enough for the rest of his life.
Lisa G. Is a loving mother to 7 wonderful YuckMouths and lives with autism. It wasn’t cursed or thrust upon her but she was blessed with a child who will always be his own bright but different shinning star. You can read her blog at 7 Yuckmouths and Autism.
When I read this, I felt the tears swell alongside the power of Lisa’s words. Thank you Lisa.