“I’m sorry.” The words muttered by family, friends, coworkers and even the stranger at the grocery store. Words that I have already heard over and over. The “I’m sorry” is their only sympathy that we hear, that we receive. “I’m sorry” is nothing more than their “I don’t know what else to say.” meaning. Very rarely does it mean anything more than that. I have heard it over and over. And now it’s drilled into my head. Every time you tell a person about the Autism diagnosis. No matter how old your child is, whether he is 2 or 20 years of age. You have already heard the “I’m sorry” enough times to know what else will most likely come after it, but it always starts the same. Every. Single. Time. You pour your heart out to some and their first response is still “I’m sorry” as if your child has just passed away. As if you didn’t already know that the future you had for your child is completely different.
You think of new ways to respond. They say “I’m sorry” and your response starts to get that angry tickle in your throat. “For what?” or “I’m not” I have used both of those already. The thing is they don’t even know what they are actually sorry for most of the time. Honestly, what could you possibly be sorry for? Your sorry that my family has a different type of battle than yours and that this battle isn’t the “typical”, “normal” family type of battle? Your sorry because he might not ever get a job, live on his own or even talk? Lets be honest. Honesty the thing that isn’t getting you nowhere, but it is getting me somewhere. Honesty is something that you lack, especially in the most truthful of situations like this.
So lets be honest, you keep the “sorry” part. Why? Because it is only words. I have heard many times how “sorry” someone is. They then offer the “if you need anything let me know” part. But they don’t follow through. Many times these types of people who know you, who have been “friends” with you for many years or the “family” who you have been there for has used words to say how “sorry” they are, but honestly they are glad. They are glad that it isn’t them. Why does it take many of us to figure this part out?…if we ever figure it out. It takes us awhile because we still want to see that good in people. You know the good in people that we don’t see very often. Why? Because so many people judge our child. They blame us, they blame our parenting, our pregnancy, our genes. They blame television, food, video games and anything that is possible to place blame upon. And the blame is always somehow our fault. At least to a good chunk of the outside world. We get the weird and dirty looks when our child goes into a meltdown frenzy in public and yet we still want to see the good in people. We want our best friend that said, “I’m sorry” to actually be that person they claimed to be. Even that stranger that looked at you when you were trying to calm your child down and you said, “he’s autistic”. They still said, “Oh, I’m sorry” but yet gave you this look like…well sucks to be you and that it is still your fault..you know the autism part is your fault. Bringing him in public when he can’t “control” himself. Doing the wrong things with him. It is somehow your fault.
You want to know what else is the truth? The invites to things. I have gotten invited to many things, but yet I can’t go to these things a lot of times. I can’t take the Monster to a Birthday party without Mike, it’s too hard. And I can’t take him to other things that I would like to do. So I don’t go. I don’t reschedule and soon I stop getting the invite to hang out even. Which yeah, I will take some of the blame of it, but not all the blame. Why doesn’t one of these people say, “hey, I will help you out that way we can go out lunch” because they are scared and “sorry”. So when you can’t make it to one of these events they instead say, “well we will have to get together some other time” which is they are “too busy” to work with you on your schedule, in other words your childs schedule. They invite you over, even though they know your child can’t handle going to a place that isn’t “autism proof” (it’s like child proofed, but 10 times harder to get to dangerous things).
Truth and honesty right there folks.
But here is the deep down truth about all the “sorry” and invites. It sucks. It sucks because again with the honesty here, you want to go. Sometimes you don’t get invited to things that you used to because of all this. Friends stop inviting you out, family stops inviting you to the birthday parties. And that sad part is, no matter how many times you say to yourself “I don’t care”…..you actually do care if you are invited to these things. You do care if people never really mean the “I’m sorry, let me know if you need anything” part. You care about it all. You care enough that you get that tickle in your throat to have some sort of comeback when they say the words “I’m sorry”. As if you feel the need to defend the autism in some sort of way. You care enough to tell yourself that you don’t care. And it is because you are already tired of hearing the “I’m sorry” part, because you have already heard it over and over again and you will continue to hear it over and over again. People forget the honesty part when it comes to the truth. People forget how easy life is for them sometimes. They forget about you even, because the autism. And in our world, when we say “I’m sorry” we remember what it actually means. The true meaning of being sorry about things. Our children have made us truthful and honest. That is a good part of autism, we learn to be truthful and honest.
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Dear person reading this. It seems with recent events in the news has put a mistaken stereotype on autism. So I am going to clear things up with you because I am worried you may be stereotyping my perfect little child.
With recent events in the news I am worried and scared. I now have another fear, I have a fear that my child will be stereotyped. I fear that autism is now looked at in a bad way and only in a bad way. I fear that the words violent, tantrums, personality disorder, behavioral issues, combative, mental, anxiety, issues, will now be words to describe autism. I worry that my child will be stereotyped into a category because “they” said so. I posted about “they” and how “they” say things you can read that (here). I am worried that my child will now be looked at as nothing more than a “mental case” just because the news are reporting what they feel is the right things to say. And that right thing is placing some into a category and stereotyping.
When describing the shooter this is what I hear, “the shooter wore all BLACK. The shooter was autistic. The shooter Lanza had some form of autism. The shooter was autistic and suffered from a personality disorder. Anxiety issues. Autistic loner’s explosion. He had OCD tendencies. Lanza was ‘odd’. He was just a weird kid. He had issues. Socially awkward. Needy. Somewhat autistic. Rambunctious kid.”
These were the words used to describe him. So when you put these words together and you put AUTISM on the headline people will only put these things with autism, therefore putting autism into a mental disorder and now somehow my son can be capable of this just because he is autistic. So here it goes….you sterotyped him. You put autism at the headline and now you have something to go off of. You put him into the autism box and dropped him off for us (the parents and others that experience autism first hand) to now clean up the mess that you made. You decided it was enough for people to have their answer on why he would do this and autism was it. Autism was the easy way out. Well, autism is not like that. Not in that way. Yes, my son is a little different, OCD and he is autistic, but he is not a hurtful person. He has sensory issues (like everyone else in the autism world) but that does not mean he will grow up and kill because of his sensory overload. His autism does not mean he will grow up and be violent. His autism does not mean he will grow up and do something dangerous. His autism does not mean he will shoot or harm anyone. His autism is nothing more than his autism. Neurotypical people commit crimes all the time, but since autism was on the headline than it is this mans reason? No, it should never be a reason. This is putting autism in a bad light and it is in a bad because you put it on your headline.
My son has autism. And his autism does not make him a bad child and will not make him to be a bad adult. My son is loving, caring and spoiled. He enjoys being kissed and hugged. He loves to be loved on and he loves to love back. He likes to play with people and other children. My son sometimes self harms himself (banging his head on the wall) and sometimes he does hit, but he is not a bad child. He is social and enjoys his therapy time. He is an autistic child, an autistic child with sensory issues and lacks communication skills. My child is autistic, he is not a stereotype, he is not rainman. He is a loving, cute, wonderful, joy of a child. So please do not blame autism, please do not stereotype every autistic human being and please do not think my child is anything less than special. That is what autism is!
http://autisticadvocacy.org/2012/12/asan-statement-on-media-reports-regarding-newton-ct-shooting/ Autistic Advocacy Statement. Please read this also!
Why is autism feared?
Because “they” make it seem scary, not hard. “They” make it into a mental disorder, instead of a developmental disorder. “They” say things like “autism is on the rise, we must find a cure.” Instead of helping the children/adults that are autistic already. “They” say “suffer” instead of “diagnosed.” “They” point at spoiled children and tantrums and say that, “meltdowns and sensory overload” are similar. “They” say violent outbursts are caused because of lack of discipline. “They” say that he will grow out of his meltdowns and OCD tendencies and we should put a stop to it now! “They” say he won’t talk. “They” say he will never become anything more. “They” point the finger at different causes that always seem to point back to the pregnancy and/or parent(s).
Well..”They” don’t walk in our shoes. I don’t know about you, but I am sick of them telling me what they think and claim to know.
I feel like today has been chaotic. The Monster had DT today and it didn’t go so well. He hasn’t had therapy (speech or developmental) in a few weeks. We had Thanksgiving and then the Monster got the stomach flu and then both his therapists got sick within the same week. So he is getting back in the groove of things…and the groove didn’t go so well. He had a rough day and has been sleeping like shit the past few nights. And when I mean sleeping like shit, I mean sleeping only 3 hours at night and staying up the rest of the night. So he hasn’t been resting, his whole schedule is messed up this week. It has been a rough week. His therapy just was meltdown city.
Anyways, after therapy I had a few things to fax in (getting the medical waiver, ssi and all this other shit done is hard. Something always goes wrong and it takes 4x’s as long.) and Mike had to renew his driver’s license today since his birthday is next week. After that, we decided let’s get a brand new tree because the tree we put up is old and I have had that since I was little and it looks like shit. So we bought a new tree today and went to 3 different stores to get f&cking lights because we live in a small town and they don’t know how to order extra crap even though we still have almost 2 weeks left until Christmas. Apparently nobody buys a tree or lights this close to Christmas!
And somehow I ended up cooking dinner. (even though I didn’t want to..)
After dinner we took down our old tree and put up our new one. It literally took like 3 hours to do this. We put so many lights on our 1st tree just because we weren’t putting up any ornaments, so we were like lets put 700 lights on the tree. We are idiots! We literally took the tree down with the lights on it. It sucked..and I don’t think we will ever do that again. We put up the new tree and Mike sucks at spreading branches. After taking the down the 1st tree and having a big pile and mess of lights..we put in “The Dark Knight Rises” (I’m a comic book fan, but Batman is my least favorite, but the Monster apparently LOVES Batman!) while I sorted through the mess of lights. We got the tree finished and lights put on.
I can honestly say I am tired. Not because of all the mess but because Mike and the Monster are annoying. They were both in an annoying mood. The Monster has tried destroying every electronic in sight, my computer, the Wii. They were out to annoy me all day. When we got back from town Mike was running around, so the Monster was running around. They have been loud all afternoon. The Monster just fell asleep and I am wore out.
It was just a crazy day. And I regret not getting a new tree to begin with….
Usually when I write a blog it takes me awhile to actually write it. Sometimes I spend 2 days on it just going over this and that with the subject that I have decided to write about. But I’m doing something different this time. I’m just writing whatever the hell pops in my head and here it is…
Christmas traditions are no longer a Christmas tradition to us in the autism world. Agree?? Well maybe some of you have a high functioning kid that knows about Santa, stockings, Christmas cookies, gifts and the “elf on the shelf.” You are one of the lucky ones in the autism world…well at least to me.
Growing up my mom explained to me the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus and his birthday and celebrating him. But growing up…I always had a wonderful and fantastic Christmas. I was never disappointed on Christmas morning. We did all the “normal” traditions. Decorating the tree with my sisters. Baking cookies on Christmas Eve, setting out cookies and milk the night before Christmas. Waking up early on Christmas morning to open up presents. I love Christmas traditions, I love wrapping the gifts and I love Christmas, not just because the presents, but because the true meaning. Growing up my mom would always say “Christmas is for the kids.” What she meant was the presents part was for the kids. Us believing in Santa was for the kids and those traditions were for the kids.
So here I am…a mom and my traditions aren’t happening this year. We will put up a tree unlike last year, but we won’t decorate it, only lights and a star (unless I find the plastic ornaments). We most likely won’t set out milk and cookies..I mean why should we? We will just go to the kitchen later that night and eat them when we want to. We aren’t wrapping ANY of the Monsters gifts this year, he won’t open them and if he does open 1 he will be done after that 1 present and then Mike and I will open the rest and have to clean up a mess that had no purpose.
And then I hear parents talk about “elf on the shelf.” And how they get to move it every night after their little one goes to bed and the next day it’s in a different spot. Their child wakes up and looks for it the next morning. That seems like a fun thing to do. I’m jealous of the elf…I hate it because I am jealous of the damn elf!
So where does the autism world fall into all of this? It doesn’t. All it does is add stress to our kids. I remember the Monsters first speech therapist telling me how her son had to see a therapist during the holiday season because of the transition from having school to being out for two weeks. Then to all the things that is going on during that time. I couldn’t help but think that the holiday time is added pressure and stress to our kids. Not excitement. Am I going to be happy on Christmas morning? Yes I am. I am going to be excited for the Monster. The night before Mike and I will open up every gift and take it out of its box and place them all out in a nice neat pile. The next morning that is what he will see under the tree. We know he is special and can’t handle the unwrapping part and Santa knows too ;).
Some of this sounds ridiculous to me to think how upset I am over Christmas traditions, but I can’t help it. Then I think of what I was always told, “Christmas is for the kids.” So as long as he is happy, I should be happy too. I should appreciate the smallest things and stop being so selfish. The meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with any of this. And when you celebrate Christmas with all of these things I should remember it is about the kids and their happiness when they open presents, not mine. He doesn’t care if they are wrapped or not. The Monster doesn’t care if there is a million decorations on the tree or if it just has lights. He doesn’t care about the stupid elf on a shelf…at all. He doesn’t care about putting out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. He is going to be happy either way on Christmas morning and sees all the trucks and other toys. So why should I care? He is happy either way.
During the Holidays it gets pretty rough with our little Monsters, but it gets even harder when you have kids on the spectrum. Somethings that us as parents of kids on the spectrum understand is the limits and the possibility of things during the Holiday season. Things that we all go through during the Holiday season. For us it is all about surviving the Holiday season. For others it seems they never truly understand what we go through. How hard it is or why our children hate being in certain places. Why our kids don’t rip open gifts and why they won’t eat the Christmas ham. We are trying to decide on how to get from one place to another without a meltdown. We just want as much enjoyment and meltdown free time as possible. Stress comes with the Holidays and maybe understanding why we aren’t enjoying it like you. We still love this time a year and have a new way of going about things. We are still enjoying the Holiday season, but with a few limits and the possibility of a few new things in mind.
Our ways of surviving the Holiday season.
1.) If you ask me to go Christmas shopping with you and I have the Monster that day and it happens to be busy, expect a meltdown or 2. Be prepared for some screaming while we are in every. Single. Store. I have learned to ignore it, he’s in his stroller and he will eventually be fine. I have decided that I will never be a victim inside my own home. I refuse to stay home and limit not just myself but my child. The world will just have to deal with the meltdowns and the screaming. He is trying his best to adjust to the rest of the world, so shoppers…just deal with it. My husband works crazy work hours, so leaving the Monster home every weekend isn’t an option. Sometimes it’s not an option for us at all, so be ready for it. His patience is thin and something at any given time just might set him off. Don’t worry, my plan of seeing if he needs something sometimes works, if it’s something else that is bothering him…well in the words of Dory (Finding Nemo) “Just keep swimming.” We will get through our shopping trip, it might take a little longer, but we will eventually get there.
2.) The Holidays is a 2 person job. We can’t have Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving. My sister Kas works retail and since she is higher up in the store, she doesn’t really get time off during Thanksgiving week. The bad thing about having it the Sunday before is Mike usually always works. Having to watch the Monster and eat, plus try to visit with my family is impossible. It’s a headache, yeah I get plenty of help from my family, but it’s still hard. Having 2 people and 4 eyes usually always on the Monster makes things a little easier and more comforting. So when visiting and having a conversation with every person in the room might not be possible. With or without Mike something is always going on and something is always distracting the Monster. Don’t get offended if I am chasing after the Monster constantly and have no time to have a long conversation about how you cooked the turkey today. The husband is most likely cleaning up a mess or trying to eat and now that I am done with dinner I am a little busy trying to keep my son from touching the mashed potatoes with his fingers that he just had in his pants. 😉
3.) The limits with the eating. The Monster might not always want to eat. If he isn’t in his environment then he might enjoy playing a lot more than eating his dinner, I can feed him when I get home. If he doesn’t like it then I have no problem taking out his potato chips and Cheetos and letting him munch on those until we get home. Food is food in our book, and my Monster isn’t going to eat turkey or ham (unless I hide it in some other type of food) so sorry if it hurts your feelings when I say, “No, he doesn’t like that, I will find him something else.” It’s not because I don’t want to feed my child wonderful things like a turkey leg. He just won’t eat it. No big deal, when we get home I will make him a pizza or a grilled cheese. Hell, I will even stop by McDonald’s and pick him up a cheeseburger. He will get a meal sooner or later, it might not be the meal that you prepared, but it will be a meal.
4.) We might be late for the festivities. We can’t go on time anymore if we don’t need to. So if we are walking in an hour later than we should, it might be because we had a bad morning with the Monster. If you’re calling us and asking us why we aren’t there yet and we say, “hey, were running late.” In other words it’s taking us a little longer to all get ready. We also have to get things ready, like food/snacks, portable dvd player, tablets(iPad, innotab etc.), sippy cups with juice, diapers, toys, baby wipes, extra clothes and whatever other little thing that the Monster might enjoy or need. No need to reheat the food, we are used to eating it cold, we are used to running into small problems and meltdowns. We will make it if we can.
Which brings me to the next few subjects that are similar to the one above.
We might have to leave earlier than expected………..
-) When we say we can stay for 3 or 4 hours, be prepared for us to leave early. Leaving early is our childs speciality. 😉 Their has been many times where I have said a few hours and then a few hours turned into only an hour. Sometimes the smells, the other kids, the crowded rooms, the noise, the different types of lighting..it all bothers our kids. Just because you are having fun (most likely due to your extra ingredient to your egg nog) doesn’t mean I am having fun chasing my kid in and out of every room. Just because the other kids are running and playing appropriately with each other, doesn’t mean my kid is going to do the same with them. So if we are running out the door after only staying an hour because our child is going into meltdown mode. Don’t get shitty, just say, “bye.” I don’t enjoy having to listen to my child scream and I’m not going to do it just because you want to talk to me a little longer. Call me later, I can talk then…well maybe.
The questions and answers nobody seems to quite understand the reason to……….
-) “He was so happy when you guys first got here, why is he upset now?” or “He was happy the last time you were here, whats wrong now?” Well lets see…Billy and Jane just got here and they have 8 kids alone. We have this child wanting to constantly hug and kiss him and someone keeps shoving food in his face. Then Uncle Buck (no relation to the movie 😉 ) is half drunk and is making him sit on his lap. Then we have this one little boy in the corner that keeps stealing my sons toys and then cries if my son doesn’t “share” with him. The place is crowded, someone around every corner smells like liquor and you have a million kids that keeps touching, hugging and talking to my child when he doesn’t quite understand why they keep doing it. Not to mention nobody is watching their kids, except me and every single person keeps surrounding my child when he clearly wants nothing to do with these people. Not to mention you have every light on in the house, plus a Christmas tree that has every inch lit up. Then you have Christmas music that is so loud everyone has to scream to talk. So yeah he was calm 20 minutes ago, but all these changes happened within the last 5 minutes and it is too much for him. So getting angry because we leave early. We learned not to promise staying for hours and that’s okay because grandma has had enough egg nog and she keeps hitting on my husband.
So in other words is me saying, when the Monster is ready to go…so am I. I’m not going to force my child to stay when I am having a hard time watching him. This isn’t a shopping mall, I can’t put him in a stroller and just say alright here we go. There is always something dangerous around, so understand when things like this happens.
5.) In my house we don’t put up a tree anymore. I love a Christmas tree! I think it is so pretty and makes it feel so wonderful inside the house, but my Monster..well I can’t trust him. I have watched him tear things apart and rip things down. So with the dangers of a tree in the house..nope not a possibility. So we limit decorations, put up some lights and what not in the living room and put the presents out Christmas night. It works for us and I am sure it works for another autism family too. So if you happen to be putting up a tree or decorations while we are visiting you, trusting him to put things on the tree by himself isn’t a good idea. Help him and if he doesn’t want to continue to do it, then don’t push him. Pushing him too far will send him into a fit and then once again here we are trying our best to control the situation without him pulling the sh!t off of every fire-place and every tree. He doesn’t have to help put up decorations like the other kids, maybe he just wants to watch. No big deal, just pushing to do something might not always be in his best interest, especially when he is out of his comfort zone.
6.) My son might..just might open a gift on his own or with help. Don’t get offended when he doesn’t rip open the gift like all the other kids you see around you. Sure, he might get excited watching everyone else, but maybe touching the wrapping paper bothers him. Maybe the noise bothers him and he hates the idea of hearing it over and over again. Don’t get offended over something so stupid. It’s stupid because it is obvious where our child is going to stand on this side, if he didn’t like it last year then don’t expect a complete turn around a year later. Yes, I am going to work with him, maybe one day he might enjoy tearing open the gifts like the other kids. Maybe he won’t ever like it. Just don’t get all upset over something so small. I am sure he will enjoy the gift anyways..well maybe. 😉
7.) I love that you have so many different ideas on what to get my son for Christmas, but you have to think of all the possibilities that might happen with that gift. He will most likely try to put it in his mouth a few times a day. And sometimes mommy and daddy won’t always be looking right at him to make sure he doesn’t do it. Messy things are a miss! I don’t like cleaning up after my son more than I already have to. He is messy enough, so having a paint session with him will just be a disaster. Getting him something breakable will be horrible also. If my son likes it, he will most likely feel the need to carry the damn thing to every room with him for a few days. And if he drops it and it breaks. I will pissed off. Why? Because my son will then go into a meltdown that half the United States will hear and I will be the one cleaning up the broken pieces and having to hear a child scream in my ear. I know there is plenty of things that are cute or maybe you bought your cousins best friends girlfriends kid the same thing and he loved it, doesn’t mean my kid will. Just because the “age appropriate” says for 3 year olds..well doesn’t mean my kid will know how it works. And just because he might not understand how the 3 year olds toy will work, doesn’t mean you should get him a baby toy either. Ask us. That simple. So if you ask us what he likes and we tell you. Please get him something similar to what we suggested. I hate having to throw sh!t and even though he might not seem disappointed, I might be. I just want the same thing for my kid, just like everyone else wants for their kids. A good Christmas and Holiday time.
8.) It was the night before Christmas and all through the house, my son wasn’t putting out cookies and milk for Santa. His mommy and daddy were just eating them from the container and laughing at the idea of Santa actually getting any. 😉 So we might set out milk and cookies, we might not. It’s okay, he doesn’t understand Santa yet. He will eventually, then he will most likely tell your kid the truth about Santa 😉 lets face it our kids are the most truthful and honest people on Earth. Even more truthful than your Aunt who gets drunk every Holiday, which is rare to find someone more truthful than her. Santa..no big deal, lets set out milk and cookies and lets enjoy the night before Christmas a different way. Watching “A Christmas Story” for 24 hours on TBS is how I enjoy it. And the Monster can enjoy it and be happy with playing and listening to you repeat the words of the movie. He might enjoy the Christmas carols and the lights he strung up around the windows because a tree wasn’t an option for you either. He might enjoy some milk with potato chips instead of Christmas cookies. Whatever your new tradition is, that’s okay. And it should be okay for your relatives too. Traditions are going to be different for your family and mine. Don’t expect us to force our kids into doing the same thing that we have done for years. Changing traditions to make it better for our children is one thing that will make it easier on us. And since the Holiday season is the most stressful time with a kid that has autism, we need it to be easier. As easy as possible, not just for us, but for our kids.
Holiday time is stressful so please keep that in mind, not just for us, but for our kids. Have patience and be understanding.
I don’t shelter my son when it comes to things. I feel like we are already having to change so much because of his autism that I refuse to get rid of more than we already have to. Some might call me selfish and others might agree with me. Awhile back I had written a blog post about how I will never leave a restaurant just because someone gets upset with how the Monster might be acting. As parents in the autism world we have had to adjust to many things, so do we also need to adjust to things in our own home?
Mike and I are both movie and television people. We love movies and have our favorite TV shows that we record on our DVR every week. Before the Monster we went to the movies very often. We have Netflix hooked up to our TV in the living room, we also stream it to our phones and I will also watch it on my lap top. We are movie buffs and enjoy the latest action films, I enjoy the latest romantic comedy and Mike loves his scary movies. We have spent more than enough money on dvd’s. It is our way of spending money on ourselves because we don’t get date night often. We will go two or three months without going out and to some that might even be a privilege and we are lucky to have it that once in a while date.
One thing as parents that we have not done is monitor what the Monster watches. That is something we don’t want to give up either and I refuse to give it up. The Monster watches usually everything we watch. If we are putting in “The Amazing Spiderman” to watch, the Monster is most likely going to be watching it with us. If “The Walking Dead” is on and he is in the same room with me, he will be entertained by the zombies. No, we don’t let him watch everything that we watch. Mike likes scary movies and some of them are too scary for him to see, so Mike watches them after the Monster and I go to bed. And if we aren’t watching TV than we have something like Disney Jr. or a children’s movie on.
Were not typical parents, so why should we even try to be. We have had to learn different ways in teaching our child and different ways of discipline. Our typical ways went out the window when autism was put into factor. I can’t say anything about anyone else when it comes to putting their child in front of some cartoons, I do it often too. I have my reasons for doing it, like cleaning the kitchen or maybe I just want to get a small nap in because he was up all night…literally. When it comes to monitoring what the Monster watches, yeah we do it. But we also know that we enjoy our movies and TV shows just as much as he does. I am sure if he wasn’t autistic things would be way different, but other things would be very different also. Honestly…the ‘typical’ parent in general was thrown out the window for as long as I can remember. I was always into things like the ‘Ninja Turtles’ and video games. So the word typical isn’t in my vocabulary often and it rarely gets used. I mean, I don’t know many moms that have samurai swords, do you?
(Yes, I do have samurai swords. They are put up and the Monster has never seen them. So no I don’t want to hear how dangerous shit like that is. I know it’s dangerous and that is why the Monster will never know about them unless we have a zombie apocalypse. 🙂 )