Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stuffed like a Turkey

We had a big feast here at Grandma's, again. Sunday we had Thanksgiving. Today, we had our annual shrimp scampi and fish fry. Complete with greens in hot sauce, green rice casserole (made with broccoli, Velveeta, evaporated milk, white rice etc), green beans and some other stuff.

Gees, we waddled away from the table, only to return to polish off the leftover Thanksgiving pies with ice cream. My clothing no longer fits. This is ridiculous.

Today was a lot of fun for the boys. Uncle Glenn was in rare form. He had them outside, picking up the big sticks from the dozens of trees on Grandma's lawn. Then they had to 'cool off' by getting the big water guns out of the garage and loading them up with swimming pool water and getting soaked, after they blasted ant nests on the ground, real and imaginary. Change of clothing later, Grandma and I decide to run to some Big Box to get her a new laser printer/fax (on sale for $150! yay!) We come back to tales of great excitement - Ryan has fallen in the pool! And rescued himself! Glenn says "Ryan fell in trying to fill his water pistol. He immediately popped up, yelped "I didn't do it!" and hopped out, using his arms to pull his body fully out like he was a Tarzan extra. Glenn said he asked him "Well, who in the heck pushed you in, then?" and Ryan said "Well, I didn't DO it."

You in the Special Kids world will figure it out immediately. Ryan leaves off descriptors. He didn't feel the need to add "ON PURPOSE!" because - Duh. The Dude Didn't Do It. Like. On Purpose. He told Uncle Glenn "These things happen, you know." which is something we say all the time when the water goes over, the plate flips over on the way to a table in the lunchroom, etc. The reset button won't get switched if panic sets in. If the Special Dude or Dudette gets a minute of "Hey! No Worries!" their little reset buttons will hit, and they will start again from square one. If they panic, they run.

I don't run around, waving my arms and yelping "Holy Shit - Autistic Kid! Beware! Take care of him!" No, I expect him to solve a lot of his problems and figure out how to manage his world before I intervene. But when a lunch room lady says "Hey, Ryan dropped his full tray today, and not only didn't pick it up, he didn't go get Mr. Bobby (janitor) or tell anyone; he just stood there and finally said "OH!" and then ran to get a new lunch!" I will say, "Well, Ryan has troubles with his Reset button. Next time you see him, and he's alone, tell him it's okay that he dropped his tray, but he needs to be responsible for the cleanup (the step involving Mr. Bobby), telling you (actual reset key on her computer to enable him to get 2 lunches in one day) and THEN to go get another lunch.

You with normals cannot even imagine how many steps there are in normal navigation for your children. It's automatic for them. But for autistic children, their world is a hugely complex series of bewildering chess games. And sometimes that game just can't be played. I can tell you I bring A LOT of hot fancy coffees to our staff for working so hard with Ryan. That includes secretaries, lunchroom staff, janitors, aids, etc. Ryan loves our school because he is welcomed and valued there. I know that's not usual, as kids like Ryan can suck the energy out of anyone. But these are dear, sweet, educatable kids; they just need a little bit of extra time and consideration. We know teachers/staff/admin don't have a lot of 'extra' to give. And we notice it 1000% when you do, and appreciate it even more.

1 comment:

Miz S said...

Well said.

Happy Thanksgiving.