#FOUR. AUTISM. FUNNY KID THINGS.
Yesterday we got DEEP! Today I’m feeling less like digging into my soul and just telling you some of my everyday mum-life antics. A and B are back at school which gives me my time to rest up and get things done at my own pace. It’s a relief although I do miss having them around. It’s always the way — can’t wait for a bit of ‘me time’ but miss them instantly!
I’ve been spending some time recently taking notes on some of the amusing things I hear the kids say from afar. I get some absolute gems as I’m sure any parent does. A, who is six, has a unique talent of what I call ‘word smashing’. I haven’t worked out if he does it on purpose because he’s lazy, if he does it by accident because he’s a bit of a space cadet, or if he’s neither of these and just an absolute genius outsmarting every other human on the planet when it comes to portmanteau. Either way he’s a legend in my eyes. Some of my current favourites:
- hand + sanitiser = HANITISER
- humongous + enormous = HUGHNORMOUS
- oh my goodness + oh dear = OH MY DEAR
A also treats me to lots of his own made up words. As his mum I understand him and I find it terribly cute, but I do sadly have to pop my head into his little bubble from time to time and try to teach him the word he’s meaning to say; you know, just so he will be able to communicate with other human beings as he grows up. Some of my favourites again:
- constracting = distracting
- constructions = instructions
- hope = so
- maffis = massive
- downleting = deleting an app that is already downloaded (this one is pretty clever)
- bomatoes = tomatoes
- babooter = computer
- week holiday = weekend
- in the morning = the hours between sunrise and sunset
- pieman = spider man
- cock = cake (age 2)
- dick = stick and sick (age 2)
- choo choo = sorry (age 2)
The joy it brings me to write these down and remember all the funny things he does and say. He really is a true delight.
He is in the process of being assessed for ASD (autism spectrum disorder), and from what I gather, these sort of language and communication issues are fairly common in children with ASD. When I initially read the report from his main assessment my heart sank. I knew he had displayed his quirks quite clearly in the assessment and so the report wasn’t a shock, but it certainly was the first time it really hit home for me that he is highly likely to get a diagnosis soon. My emotions were all over the place; how do I cope with this? What does his future look like? Am I out of my depth? Poor boy! But after a while, and after a few chats with several friends, I started to see it from a different perspective. A diagnosis doesn’t make him any different to what he is today or what he was yesterday; a diagnosis simply opens doors to access support should we need it. I am coping now (albeit only just sometimes) so labelling his differences won’t automatically stop me from being able to cope. Knowledge is power; knowledge is understanding; and understanding is at the heart of being able to accept his quirks with patience and humour. As I started talking to my friends about his little foibles, and regaling funny tales of the way in which he has handled situations or reacted to circumstances, I realised I was smiling inside. I was giggling and texting lines of laughing face emojis. It is those little kinks in his make-up that make him who he is, and who he is, is a little boy who brightens every room that he walks into. He’s a little boy who’s smile is so wide you can’t help but notice it. He’s a little boy with eyes so bright and blue, who’s words provide me with giggles on an hourly basis.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the frustration of watching him perform his rituals with obsession, easy to get exhausted by his constant barrage of questions knowing full well he’s not really listening to or understanding a lot of the answers. But what if we got up from our metaphorical chair in the dark corner and changed perspective and go to sit in the sunlight and see it from a brighter side. What if I stop being exhausted and frustrated and started to enjoy seeing the calm it brings him when his teddies are placed EXACTLY in the right spot? What if I focus on the beautifully curious mind he was gifted with and answered his questions with the same passion he asks them with? I’ll tell you what will happen, I will find so much more peace in my mind, in my day, in my temperament; and most importantly I will cherish the unique parts of my boy that make him my boy. I will be far better equipped to handle the challenges that ASD will bring to his door, and I will once again, find so much more joy in every day.
The more I write these blogs the more I realise the common thread running through them; the way I handle my own emotions will directly impact the amount of joy I get to see in each day. We all have bad days, no one expects you to find NOTHING but joy, but I promise you this; if you focus on the positives, you’ll find an awful lot more joy than you would by focussing on the negatives. It’s the age-old hypothetical scenario; if you have £1000 in your bank and lost £10 would you throw away the other £990? Of course not, so why do we allow a bad chunk of our time eat away into the rest of the time we DO have. Change perspective; you’ll change your life.