Sunday, February 20, 2011

"going swimming" written july 14 2010

Malachi isn't very socially aware most of the time . splashing, pushing or bumping people...playing with other people's toys without thinking..
last time we went swimming he saw someone's wagon and started pushing it full blast into the water. I ran to stop him, the mom said " oh it's ok"
but I wanted to explain to Malachi , so I went after him, he was then afraid he was in trouble, so started saying " I'm outta here! I gotta run away" (" fight or flight") I caught up to him, grabbed him and told him everything was fine and he was not in trouble, thankfully he calmed down. I told him he had to apologize. and he did! the mom was really nice about it
My sister walked up to me and said " that lady was really not mad at all, and I explained that Malachi is autistic"

and I paused for a moment.. . what did I feel? relief?

The truth is, when going into a social situation there is a part of me that wants nothing more than to gather everyone around and say " ok people! listen up! my son is autistic, so cut us some slack!"
Partly because it's easier when people understand, they are more willing to extend grace and more willing to help. But it would also be for me, because it is hard to be constantly judged on my parenting, or see the faces people make when they are watching Malachi behave in a way that is not typical or " normal" in their eyes. It's hard not to let all those people's opinions affect me when I really need to just focus on my family.
Some people even have their children wear t-shirts- announcing to the world that they are autistic and everyone should expect a certain level of " behavior"

I think there is a fine line between informing people, and making excuses . How do we educate people without laying down blanket apologies and expecting people to accept any and all behavior?
why are we extending these " explanations" ? to inform? or to make ourselves feel better?
how can we do it better? how do we know when and who to ask for help?

I . don't. know.

I don't want anyone to have to adjust or accompany us, I hate to be the "problem" but, when people do go out of their way , it doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated

4th of july: thanks Steev for knowing staying in your yard would be easier for me

thanks Sarah for offering to put away the sparklers

thanks lady with the wagon at the pool

we're doing the best we can

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