May 25, 2009
May 18, 2009
Updated February 26, 2009
If you're sick of hearing about all the "deficits" challenging people on the autism spectrum, join the club. But for every down side to autism, there seems to be a positive -- an unusual trait that rarely appears among the "typical" community, but shines out among autistic folk. These plusses are well worth celebrating.
1. Autistic People Rarely Lie
We all claim to value the truth, but almost all of us tell little white lies. All, that is, except people on the autism spectrum. To them, truth is truth -- and a good word from a person on the spectrum is the real deal.
2. People on the Autism Spectrum Live in the Moment
How often do typical people fail to notice what's in front of their eyes because they're distracted by social cues or random chitchat? People on the autism spectrum truely attend to the sensory input that surrounds them. Many have achieved the ideal of mindfulness.
3. People with Autism Rarely Judge Others
Who's fatter? Richer? Smarter? For people on the autism spectrum, these distinctions hold much less importance than for typical folks. In fact, people on the spectrum often see through such surface appearances to discover the real person.
4. Autistic People are Passionate
Of course, not all autistic people are alike. But many are truly passionate about the things, ideas and people in their lives. How many "typical" people can say the same?
5. People with Autism Are Not Tied to Social Expectations
If you've ever bought a car, played a game or joined a club to fit in, you know how hard it is to be true to yourself. But for people with autism, social expectations can be honestly irrelevant. What matters is true liking, interest and passion -- not keeping up with the Joneses.
6. People with Autism Have Terrific Memories
How often do typical people forget directions, or fail to take note of colors, names, and other details? People on the autism spectrum are often much more tuned in to details. They may have a much better memory than their typical peers for all kind of critical details.
7. Autistic People Are Less Materialistic
Of course, this is not universally true -- but in general, people with autism are far less concerned with outward appearance than their typical peers. As a result, they worry less about brand names, hairstyles and other expensive but unimportant externals than most people do.
8. Autistic People Play Fewer Head Games
Who was that woman, and why were you looking at her? I know I TOLD you I didn't mind if you went out, but why did you believe me? Most autistic people don't play games like these -- and they assume that you won't either. It's a refreshing and wonderful change from the Peyton Place emotional roller coaster that mars too many typical relationships!
9. Autistic People Have Fewer Hidden Agendas
Most of the time, if a person on the autism spectrum tells you what he wants -- he is telling you what he wants. No need to beat around the bush, second guess, and hope you're reading between the lines!
10. People with Autism Open New Doors for Neurotypicals
For some of us neurotypicals, having an autistic person in our lives has had a profound positive impact on our perceptions, beliefs and expectations. For me, at least, being the mom of a son on the autism spectrum has released me from a lifetime of "should" -- and offered me a new world of "is."
May 16, 2009
Two hours later, I'm back. I don't know where that bang came from. We have to make sure each door is closed upstairs, plus we just installed a gate to the kitchen. The other day Ryder figured out how to move the stool over to the counter, climb up and over the counter, back down on the other side and open the pantry door. He'll find all of the gluten and casein ladened foods and have himself a feast, so we have to keep a good eye on him.
Another two hours later: Bill came home from running errands, brought a hamburger home and left it in the sack on top of the kitchen table, then went outside to play with the other boys. I didn't know about the sack, and the next thing I see...Ryder had devoured the hamburger.
We'll see if he sleeps tonight.
The boys tummies are full and backed up. We're seriously considering a clean-out up at the hospital this summer. I really feel like I'm doing the very best I can based on the load I've been given, but some days it's just not enough. I need five of me.
May 10, 2009
How did it all begin?
I was seated in a spacious room, with many other women, the room was adorned with beautiful paintings of children, the beauty and innocence of their faces lent an atmosphere of wondrous joy to the room. Silence permeated the air, as we sat together, no one uttered a word, and I wondered why we were gathered there. The sound of a door opening behind me broke the silence, no one turned to look, we all remained perfectly still, there was a reverence in the air, a feeling of great joy.
I felt someone touch my shoulder, and rising immediately I followed the others who were chosen, and we made our way softly out of the capacious room. Walking along a narrow hallway, lined with mirrors framed in gold, we passed beneath twinkling chandeliers that sparkled overhead. We were led into another room even more prodigious than the first, and it was so dimly lit that I stumbled slightly as I entered. As the last woman proceeded through the door, it closed softly behind us. An audible gasp emanated from all who stood within that exquisite room, for there, before us were a chorus of children. They were clothed as we were in purest white, and they stood hand in hand softly singing. Their faces glowed with a beauty that defied description. A hush fell upon us as we gazed in awe, at the wondrous sight before us. No words were spoken, for mere words could not describe the scene that we beheld that night. A voice came from the back of the room, a soft, compelling voice, we looked around us, but could not see who was speaking.
"Heed well my words, dear sisters, for you have been chosen to receive these children. One day you will become the mothers of the children you see before you now. These children that stand so glorious in their perfection are the self same children that will be your own. These children will struggle in their mortal lives. Some will be blind, some deaf, or unable to speak. Others will battle with a body that will fail them. Some will never understand the world to which they are sent. Many of these children will become ill, victims of illness and disease. Then there will be those who, while they are born perfect and whole, will suddenly and without warning be taken from your arms. You will weep a thousand tears as you wonder why, you will fall to your knees in despair, because you will not remember this day, or the perfect children you see before you now. Your journey will be hard, your road a long and difficult one. You may stumble and your steps falter as you struggle to carry on. But fear not, for I will be with you always, my peace will remain with you and you will be blessed with great joy that other mothers may never know. You will have the knowledge that your child will return to me, to become perfect and whole again, as you see them now. You will learn patience, grace and charity. Your prayers will not go unanswered, for I will not leave you alone, to care for these, my favored of all children, who will be entrusted to your care. I will comfort you in your darkest hours. I will be with you in your sorrow, and weep with you as you grieve. Now go forward and choose."
I watched as other mothers moved slowly forward, mingling with the children, I watched them choose carefully that child who would be their own. Once again a light touch prompted me to action, and I walked among the children. There were so many, each so beautiful, how would I know? How could I choose?
For the third time that evening, I felt a gentle touch, and I turned to see a small boy standing before me. His eyes were of the deepest grey, they seared my soul as they looked up into mine. Kneeling down in front of him, I caressed the dark curls that framed his innocent face. Taking his small hand in mine, I kissed it gently. As I gazed into this beautiful face, recognition overwhelmed me, he smiled and spoke softly and with the voice of an angel, he uttered just one word .. . . ."Mother" . . . . . . . .
May 5, 2009
"I am, but how the heck did you know that??"
"You don't know where you are. You don't know where you're going. You got where you are by blowing hot air. You put labels on people after asking a few questions, and you're in exactly the same spot you were 5 minutes ago, but now, somehow, it's my fault!
May 1, 2009
Their site is still under construction here. The next meeting is May 12 at 6:30-8:00pm at the Marshall Public Library in Old Town Pocatello. Anyone interested in supporting and volunteering and helping and socializing and being a friend is welcome--even teenagers!! I'll be posting more of this to come...