Tuesday, August 14, 2007

School time count down...and defending my son--with DIVERSITY!

Well, I haven't written a post yet except for my bio, I'm Robin Kirton, the mom of 6 autistic kids. My husband John had to help me post the bio. I've been kind of shy to write, I imagine all these eyes on me as I write, I really do--I'm a screenwriter and imagine the audience watching the films that play out in my head too--and I found out my clergyman reads this blog too, so I get a bit weirded out by that too sometimes...I only said "wierded out sometimes", I still love ya man! John showed me how to post too, so I hope I remembered it correctly. I've had requests for me to write more, I thank you for that, I honestly am flattered. I hope you won't be sorry by the end of this entry because I tend to not be able to stop for a while once I get going. I've had quite a day and have some stuff on my mind, so here it goes...

I truly do feel kind of bad for just going ahead and admitting it, but I am looking forward to school starting next week. We have had a long, hot summer full of not much to do, and a lot of fussing, screaming, crying and fighting around here, and I've had about all I can take on an all day every day basis--and the home with autistic kids being "just kids" is more like the normal kid on steroids. Nephi, 8, with moderate Aspergers, has been screaming and crying every time his 13 year old brother, Bobby, severe Aspergers, asks or tells him to do something he doesn't want to do--that Bobby tells him over and OVER again doesn't help, then he keeps claiming innocence when I tell him to stop bothering Nephi. Well, at least they get along when they play Game Boy...

John, the dad of our 6 autistic kids, is out of town for the entire week. He agreed to be a human gineau pig for an Alzheimer's drug--and he's the only aging fart in the study, the rest are young guys, ha! So, if it works well, then maybe he'll remember things better when he gets home, maybe he won't tell me the same old stories over and over again so much and I won't be the only one around here who can find stuff...You know how it is, seems like mom's the only one who can find anything around the house and as the mom, you cringe when you even think about asking anyone else to find anything because they CAN'T. Like, I ask a child to find something in the closet, they open it up for a fraction of a second, then close it and say "It's not there, I can't find it!" Then, I go open the closet, look under a thing or two and find it in two seconds flat. Argh!!!

I am trying so hard to get everyone and the house ready for school. Like John has said, I'm tired a lot. I'm so dang tired that I haven't cleaned my side of the bed since like 2006, last time I can remember at least. John cleaned it last week in preparation for a landlord inspection. The landlord forgot to come, and of course, the house is trashed again and my side of the bed is piled up with school stuff I hope to organize before school starts, and I mean this year....I just received Nephi's skateboard from Bobby because Nephi still refuses to get his clothes and room ready for school. Buying a stupid back pack that had a skateboard included for that child was one of the purchases I regret most in my life...and now I have an 8 year old boy screaming and making choking sounds like that kid from the Omen.

I guess I'm just thinking out loud right now....Hey, here's a good story about one of our latest autism adventures into the public at large. I brought the entire gang to a local hamburger joint we like to frequent every so often, they have tall tables that Sarah, 5, with classic autism likes to sit on and doesn't scream about, and they have a great indoor play place that they enjoy too. And, I just could barely believe my eyes and ears...the kids were GREAT! They all sat quietly, even Ammon, 3, classic autism, who is constantly on the move. He would sit in the booth, but tossed the booster seat on the floor. They ate quietly, then they played more peacefully than they ever had. Sarah the screamer hardly screamed. They were complete angels!!! There was an old couple sitting nearby and the wife kept looking at the kids like she was rather aggravated, and she seemed puzzled too, like perhaps she didn't know what "autism" meant--I remembered to put our Moodees autistic t-shirts on them today. Well, she just kept looking at them and looking at me, then looking at them again and me again...I was totally waiting for the moment when she couldn't help herself anymore and had to say something. I was ready to say something like "I know that you're from the generation where kids are supposed to be seen and not heard...autism didn't exist back in the good old days...and...What are you talking about?! This is the BEST they've ever behaved in public, what you're witnessing right now is a freaking miracle, lady!" Perhaps she worked it out on her own, she started smiling at me as she and her husband left...Perhaps she was just relieved to get away from my kids too. Whatever.

We went to Walmart afterwards to get a few last minute school supplies--and that didn't go so well. I swear everyone who saw or heard Sarah stood there with stunned looks on their faces looking at her and myself, and my feuding boys who started up again. Doesn't anybody at least try to conceal their horror anymore? Have people no shame? Anyhow, on the way out of the store, Bobby luckily noticed that Sarah was trying to make off with an Angelina Ballerina DVD. I've heard way too many horror stories about Walmart's zero tolerance policy about shop lifting, so I thank the Lord above Bobby noticed it before the alarm went off, I was publicly hauled off in handcuffs and the kids were taken into state custody....I've heard of that happening before, no joke. Anyhow, I don't dwell on that, Walmart has most everything I need at the prices I like, and I've become accustomed to spending time in court, and the letters "ACLU" popped into my head when I envisioned that possibility for a brief moment. Anyhow, the look from the cashier made me uncomfortable, like maybe she was thinking I was trying to shoplift, but planned to blame it on the kid. It didn't get better when I passed the friendly greeter. The nice, friendly people greeter became unfriendly. Sarah came out of the store screaming her head off because I didn't buy the #@! DVD, and I then had to spend a few minutes putting her sandals back on so her feet didn't burn on the asphalt pavement in the approximately 100 degree heat--Sarah HATES shoes and constantly takes them off. Bobby was holding Sarah by the arm as we left and the greeter--whom I even had a friendly conversation with the last time I saw her--told me that my son was giving the little girl bruises on her arms from squeezing her too hard! Well, I had to defend my son. I said that she already had those bruises because she jumps around and rough houses a lot because she's autistic.

Crud, this is a constant emotional roller coaster ride, it's like I'm always on the edge of misunderstandings and accusations and like I could get my kids taken away again just because they're loud and socially inappropriate--and I feel like I'm expected to make them act perfect all the time and deal with them perfectly, politically correctly and like every other "normal" kid should be dealt with...but the thing is, they're NOT "normal"! How about that politically correct ideal that no one should hurt anyone's feelings, that everyone and everything and all our diversity should be accepted and celebrated?! Well celebrate this, world! Come see my kids in public and I'll show you DIVERSITY!!!


Sean said...

I feel for you. I know the one autistic kiddo that I have can in no way match up to what you have to go through, but we see a lot of the same things. We have good days and bad days too. Keep up the good work and give them lots of love. The good times you have with them always out weighs the bad.

mcewen said...

I only have 3 to get ready for school, so I can imagine that you have more than double the work. Wishing you energy packs.
Best wishes

Momof6AutisticKids said...

Sean...about the good times outweighing the bad, I give you a big AMEN!