Welcome to AuSumness.
Every day we are looking for the awesome in autism, but let's face it. It isn't always awesome. When we do find things that work or read something that might help, we share it here. Sometimes we just may vent, but everyone needs that at times, too.
Our last few entries looked specifically at food, the environment and other possible factors that might contribute to the symptoms of autism. We gave several suggestions to try out and see if they don't help reduce the many symptoms of autism.
Today, we looking at socialisation, again. As many of you may know, socialising can be very difficult for those on the spectrum and their friends and family.
I may have mentioned before, that when you have a child that appears physically normal most people falsely assume that they are in fact, typical, normally functioning children. We certainly know what it's like to get the evil stares and accusations of being bad parents for our children's unusual behaviour.
Something with us that has started with our youngest son, is his age versus his mental intelligence for his age. He's 10, but acts like a 5 year old. I recently asked myself, does it make sense to speak to him and treat him like a 10 year old, if perhaps he doesn't have the mental capacity to understand me?
I must speak in short sentences and as direct and clearly as possible. Forget metaphors or sarcasm.
He loves playing with toys for little kids. He likes clothing for little kids. He still can't swim and is much more comfortable splashing around in the baby pool, but according to the rules, he's not supposed to be in there. This morning he told me he doesn't like free time any more because he is no longer allowed to play on the little kids playground.
I've watched him carefully and he does not harm or make fun of the little kids, so for me, it's fine. I can't expect him to act like a 10 year old. It's not always easy ignoring the glares, but it's just about all you can do until you are approached. For so many folks, having autism is an excuse. That's only because they have never lived with it and as we may want and expect compassion, we must also do the same. We have to be patient with others and provide the best example we can for our friends and family.
We also need to be an advocate! We need to continuously point out our issues and ask for help when necessary. When I explain about autism at the pool, most of the workers there are cool about it and let him play. I'll certainly ask at school what the deal is. I'd hate to think that at a special school, age would be a determining factor. Ugh!
I'm on the hunt for companies that provide big sizes and kid like items for older people. Things like clothes that are fun, cotton, obviously inside out or backwards and easy to get on and off would certainly be helpful in our household. Some kind of bike or ride along system would be great, too. I've left some links I've found, but still haven't found just the right thing.
If you know of any sites that offer things like this, leave the link in the comments and we'll be sure to share them around.
Here are some things I found that may help you.
Best of luck!