Parenting the “low functioning” with sore feet.

Afternoon perspicacious peeps!

I’ve got a story for you.

Yesterday, while carrying dinner to the table, I stepped on an octonaut, barefoot which is almost as painful as stepping on a Lego barefoot.

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Not only do Octonauts hurt when stepped on but when on wood floors, they slide as well.  I almost ended up on my arse covered in hot pork chops.

I was angry and so launched into what may be a universal mom rant.
“Nobody around here cleans up unless I ask!!!  Nobody lifts a single finger to tidy unless I make them!  

You rather pretend the mess isn’t there!!!!

 I’m tired of it!! 

Couldn’t you clean up something just once ONCE without my asking you????  HUH???

Nothing but guilty silence followed. Then we ate pork chops and played mad libs.

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“Unfortunately it was Dr. Frakenstein’s fragile fate to be destroyed by the very paper towel he created.” Grammar CAN be fun.

The mom rant is important to remember.

Now,

let me tell you about my 12 year old.

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Pete has a classic autism diagnosis and while Pete is verbal and writes, he has never communicated more than basic wants and needs via either. I hope he does express more someday, I haven’t given up on that. (why should I?) He expresses a great deal without words and  using echolalia.
He has an eye condition in which his eyelid is often irritated and while we clean it with eye wipes and have medicine its still sometimes itchy.  To keep him from rubbing it and making it worse, I give him a cool wet washcloth to put against it instead.

I don’t let him get his own because he doesn’t wring it out properly and theres water everywhere (and he hates having his clothing wet) so he brings it to me.

This morning Pete brought me a washcloth.

“Washcloth????”

Instead of using it on his eye,
he wiped down the coffee and end tables.

While he does have chores, we do them together, and wiping off things is not on his list.

*smiles* At least one kid was listening.

Now  that frustrated moment is over, I can say the kids DO help out without being made to,  not as frequently as I would like but hey…

Pete is awesome.

You know who picks up his stuff without my asking the most often?

Pete.

Which kid do I like to bring shopping because he makes a task I loathe enjoyable?

Pete.

Who is the kid most attentive to his studies?

Pete.

Who is the most cuddly kid in the house???

Pete.

He’s also the kid some would label “low functioning.”

He’s also the kid society expects, (as his ssdi evaluator said to his face) to “not have much of a life.”

He’s also kid people assume I would have aborted had I known he  would be as he is. The one Autism Speaks assumes must be ruining our family life.

He’s also the kid people simply assume dangerous.

He’s also the kid people think isn’t capable of connecting with other human beings.

He’s  also the kid many don’t consider a human being at all.

I know that people who believe these things are also people who would quickly dismiss the love we have.  They would quickly dismiss his value outside of economics. They would quickly dismiss any positives I found as either not enough, or mistaken, as being autistic, my perception of relationships is “flawed.” They would also say “At least your kid can talk..” Any excuse to invalidate my opinion would be used.

I’m not talking to those people, theres no point in arguing with them.

I’m talking to the reader who made it through this post because their mind is open to consider different perceptions and experiences.

You may read that our kids are incapable of connection. You may read that some think Autism is worse than death.  You may see negative portrayals in the media. You may hear about the next murdered child and wonder,

Are they right?

They are not.

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I don’t believe in functioning labels as they are far too subjective, tend to vary depending on environment and activity and are often used to dismiss the autistic labeled so (either way, low or high, its an excuse to say – you cant be in the convo)

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