About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


After spending all day yesterday with my son Patrick, 10 and my mom Gloria (no age inserted) attending a funeral in San Antonio, Tx...I just want a very relaxed, very much earned, calm day off.
Yesterday, we went to the burial of a life-long friend of my family's. He was probably the nicest, kindest man I have ever met, short of my own father. Bill was married to his wife for 52 years and the devoted father of 2 girls.
We were raised with this family as if they were our true relatives. We would take camping trips as far away as Wyoming with them. We loved and fought like sisters.
Every New Years Day was spent watching football at either their home in San Antonio or our home in Austin.
My son, Patrick, was the most patient I have ever seen him. He sat for over 3 hours. He had never been to a funeral...I tried to talk him out of it, but he insisted.
Patrick shook hands with the men and hugged the women. He even put a flower on the casket at the end of the funeral.
While eating lunch a bit later....Patrick thanked me for letting him come with his memaw and myself. He was happy to have experienced something that he had never experienced before.
I am very glad I took him.

So, back to today....
Caitlin has earned her reward for the month by doing the "right" things. You know...no unwarranted tantrums, no pulling out her hair in huge clumps, taking care of her personal needs with little or no help (now, that is a HUGE deal for her), etc.
Off we go to Target to get her YuGiOh cards. She is so happy !!!
When Caitlin is in Target, she is oblivious to her surroundings...she is on a mission...
She walks past this mother with her teenage son and daughter.
As Caitlin passes, she gently nudges her children out of Caitlin's way...you see, Caitlin is humming and flapping....typical shopping Caitlin...
Her children look at Caitlin and start snickering...they are amused by her. I have to admit, it is quite different if you have never seen it before.
Caitlin got her cards and I said to her, "Great job Caitlin"..."you are such a good girl"...
Caitlin says, "Yeah"..."lets go mom"....

I am so glad that she is oblivious to the curiosity around her. It is not for her to educate the world about Autism...that is my job. Caitlin is to be focused on school, home and the occasional treat she has worked so hard for...
I cannot expect the shoppers at Target, or their children, to understand my daughter.
Caitlin tries very hard to conform to the rules that are given to her...most of the time, she is
right-on target....but today, in Target....she was on a quest for YuGiOh...and she conquered !!


KWombles said...

I'm glad that yesterday's experience went well for Patrick and that you were able to go with your mom and say your goodbyes.

And I'm just as glad that Caitlin earned her reward and did not have her happy experience of getting her Yugioh cards dashed by noticing snickering teenagers. Yugioh cards rule for the bright boy, too. And he's taken great delight in teaching his sisters all about them, pokemon, bakugon, and more. :-)

You're right; it's not our children's jobs to teach the world about autism. Until and when they wish to speak up and face it all, it is our job to stand in their place, to work to help others to be more accepting of difference. And to see it as difference, not lesser than.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog after reading the AOL health article...which made me cry happiness. I have 2 boys on the spectrum...and I share your view FULLY that we are not here to fix our kids. They are beautiful, special, UNIQUE!! individuals who ...YES!!!!...have a lot to teach the world. Thank you for calling those treatments by DAN "child abuse"...this is difficult in our house. I do not buy into DAN, my husband does.SIGHHH...anyway...thank you..

afistfullofweeds* said...

Every time I take my son to Walmart, He just has to point out ALL of the Fat people he sees. He will just simply ask, "why are you so fat?" Of course they are confused, some are even insulted. Can't blame them, though I secretly find it kinda funny. I just give a look or quietly apologize, and we go on our merry shopping way. I got over being embarrased long ago, it is what it is, my job..my life. Rhonda

Brandi said...

only semi-related. I suffered from very bad acne as a child. One night, we were walking through Walmart, my mother and me, and another little kid pointed at me and asked his mom, "what's wrong with her face?!?!" in a very loud voice. At first, I started to cry but then my mom gave me a big smile and said out loud "she's just beautiful, isn't she?!" It made me laugh. Even without direct guidance, my mother taught me to be open-minded and to not judge a book by its cover.

Anonymous said...

It is suspected that my son has Asperger's and we are waiting on diagnosis. While at Walmart recently he threw the BIGGEST tantrum because I would not buy nor let him go see the Disney Cars toys. What do I do in this situation? It was impossible to leave the store and I felt horrible with evryone staring at us while he screamed, kicked, and bit me. I am hoping for help as soon as his diagnosis is final.

KWombles said...


I empathize completely with your situation. It can be incredibly offputting to have strangers stare at you when your child has a meltdown.

It turns out that if you're willing to walk away from your cart and leave the store, you can in fact do that. We place clear guidelines for our children; we go over the appropriate behavior for the situation, and we follow through with consequences. If a child begins to show signs of being sensorily overloaded, you remove the child from the situation before a full meltdown ensues. If you don't make it in time, you still remove the child.

And you look carefully at behaviors so that you can tell the difference between a sensory overload and a tantrum because they want toys.

Each time you go somewhere, you lay out the rules and the consequences, and you follow through. It's not easy, and it's not fun, but it's important we teach our children on the spectrum that rules apply to them, as well.

I hope that helps some. :-) good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am facing the decision of taking our son to his first funeral too. His great grandparents are failing so I have started thinking about it. He is only 5 and does not know them very well, am I leaving him out if I find a baby sitter, or do I use it as a teachable moment? please help.