Inching toward normalcy

We’ve had a remarkably non-autistic week.

The children have squabbled with each other and bossed each other just like everyone else’s kids. They’ve told endless jokes at the dinner table. It’s been maddening. But again, this must be progress.

Captain Oblivious is recovering well and has discovered that he can, in fact, walk on his cast just like they promised. (Much safer for everyone in the room than the crutches deal, believe me. I know it takes practice to use them well, but his coordination is just not geared toward using tools. If he felt wobbly, instead of holding onto the crutches for support, he’d just wail and let go. BAM. Hit whatever was on the way down. *Sigh*.)

Little Miss has had the joy of rediscovering the outdoors. She’ll stay outside nearly all day, communing with nature. I watched her from the window as she simply sat in the grass, rubbing her hands through the leaves, examining things. Her dad helped her build a tent between two trees, and she carried out these foldable cubes made of parachute material to complete her little haven. So she just sits alone and listens to the birds and the wind and observes.

I suppose that may be considered autistic behavior. But when I think of “autism” the way the media portrays it, I think of the negative behaviors. What she’s doing is just being comfortable with herself and causing no one trouble. Is that autism? Maybe it is. Could we all use a little more of that perfectly calm, self-fulfilling behavior? I sure could.

It’s true when she comes back in she’s got that “other-worldly” flavor to her that she used to have much more as a small child, that feeling that she’s somehow in a parallel place, not quite synched with the rest of us.

And she’s decided she hates meat. *sigh*

But this too, will pass. Thank heaven for spring.


Today I’ve been selected for a blog carnival at Blog Village, as part of a carnival on family memories. I was also part of sixty great entries in the Blog Carnival of Observations on Life last week. Come by and catch up on some great reading!!

I also created a real electronic song from scratch this weekend to go with my story, Concert of Collaboration: Making Music Together, published at Firefox News One more thing off my list of things I’ve never done before! (Special thanks to the Cabana Boy who helped me through the geek directions…)

6 thoughts on “Inching toward normalcy

  1. As an autistic adult, let me tell you that the negative things you hear about autism and autistic behaviors from the media are very narrow and grossly misstated. Media people are famous for spreading the gloom and doom side of autism, which is mostly just hot air anyhow, and they are egged on by the likes of Jenny McCarthy and autism speaks and TACA and other such individuals and organisations intent on finding a cure for autism.

    So my friend, you have been lied to by the media. I’m sure there are genuinely hard days, where meltdowns get in the way of doing things that need to be done, but most of the time a meltdown results from the autistic person being over tired, overstimulated, from auditory or visual noise (yeah, lots of bright things in one place, or many different things in a grocery store are considered visual noise by many autistic people, including myself), or just plain bad mood that cannot be expressed due to lack of adequate communication skills or required communication tools. If you can figure out what is causing the overstimulation, and get the child away from the offending environment or objects, usually the meltdown will subside on its own, without intervention.

    The normalcy you observed is probably caused by a number of things, (see, even normalcy can be pathologised like a disease, having a specific cause. Sucks, right? Makes it sound worse than it really is. Same with making autism out to be some horrific epidemic. A lot of autistics don’t like that at all. I’m not saying you think that, but my commentary just led me to that point briefly. Forgive the longwindedness, it happens that way because it takes me a lot of words to get to my point)

    The normalcy probably came from lack of overstimulation, or your child had things to be entertained by and be shielded from overload, and things of that nature.

    Ivan of athenivanidx

  2. Maybe the behavior of Little Miss was autistic. Maybe not.

    I grew up doing similar things. I’m an introvert and love (NEED) time alone, and time alone in a private space–like a makeshift tent was the best when I was a child.

    Glad you had a “non-autistic” week. Whatever that is!

    But whatever it is, you always handle what comes to you with humor and grace. And I’m laughing at the image of the crutches being dropped and crashing to the floor with anything else that might have been in the way. Probably wasn’t funny at the time, but the situation image is humorous.

  3. I love the image of a child outside, by herself, enjoying her environment. That is what grabbed me from your post. Such a lovely, calming thing to do! Our kids don’t get outside nearly enough. So perhaps Little Miss is onto something the rest of us need to figure out, huh? There’s nothing like trees, birds and grass.

  4. I used to crawl under the hedges behind the garden with some books when I was younger. I liked getting away from people sometimes. I’d say it’s a pretty “normal” thing. I can’t be autistic…I’m too old to fit the diagnostic categories. 🙂

    For what it’s worth, I think you guys are doing a fantastic job. Your rugrats are adorable. They’ve got a good home. And knowing the begining of this story, I think they are doing much better than what could have been expected. I’m glad they have you for a mother. Their dad is alright, too, I guess. I’d say more good things about him if he mailed me a grilled cheese….the French Boy says he wants one, too.

    We both love you at any rate.

  5. As I have said before I feel very calm when I come to this blog. I can imagine the calming influence you have on your home.

    I did like that birthday story in No fool like an Old Fool for the carnival. Hope when i return from my trip you will submit one for moms in the law carnival again as your writing is lovely.

  6. From all my years as a mom with a child on the spectrum, and now with my battle with depression, “normal” is so subjective a term to me. Yes, I do yearn for the days with no meltdowns (mine or my son’s), days when I don’t have to worry about not having to follow a lock-step routine, and moments when I can just breathe.

    Yes, “normal” is something that people want to attain. But, think of what we’d miss if we didn’t have what we do.

    Warm regards,
    Michelle aka The Beartwinsmom

    BTW, thanks for visiting me again at my blog. It’s always nice to “see” you. I’ll have to add you to my blog reader. 🙂

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