As I talk to more people and look over the first entries for my new blog, I’ve started to realize that if you are not in my situation, it may sound like I just want to get rid of my son. Actually, to some degree. it’s the exact opposite.
Yes, I want him to move out. I want to make sure that he is taken care of. I want him to be safe. But I also want to make him as independent as possible. I want him to have his own life.
When I read things other people have written, I realize once again, that if you are not in this situation, wanting an autistic child to move out may seem unkind or unloving.
People are so, so careful around me when it comes to stepping outside of the safety of an autism-appropriate serious and supportive attitude. I understand why…I really do. But hey! Come on! This is me!
I was making jokes while posting on Facebook. On CJ’s 16th birthday, I posted “Happy 16th Birthday! Should we get him a car or a truck?” I thought I was hilarious. (of course, I usually think I am hilarious) Most comments I got back were super nice. “Happy Birthday” “Hard to believe he is that old”, etc. A couple of brave people made jokes, but I mean only a couple. One person told me in person that he thought we should get him a motorcycle. Now THAT was funny! I complained to a friend that no one seemed to think I was as funny as I thought I was. She said that “unless you are in that situation, you are not allowed to make fun of (or joke about) that situation. “ I guess she was right. That’s kind of depressing.
When they are little you tip toe carefully around trying to figure out diagnosis and treatments for other people’s kids. It’s such a fragile, delicate time. When they are older, you just say “what exactly is his diagnosis”? And funny. By then, people are usually fine with answering questions and almost relieved to talk about it. They are often craving information as much as you are.
I have discovered that in this world, people are usually more than willing to share information. Nothing is sacred. People will discuss doctors, medications, Baker Acts, schools, and Therapists without blinking.
But just try to get them to laugh with you.
It is a strange little world growing all too big, but it is my strange little world.