Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Be careful what you wish for!

We have identified several social skills goals over the past six months that Rye has been working on in therapy, at home and at school.  You know various trials of how would you address a person you know, a person you don't know, etc.   Tonight after leaving speech therapy I decided I was not up for cooking so we stopped at Culver's for drive thru.  I ordered, pulled up to the window, and was asked to pull ahead and wait.

The wait wasn't bad maybe three or four minutes.  A very nice young man came to the window with food in hand.  I thanked him, he thanked me and he turned to walk away.  Out of no where Rye yells from the back seat "Hey Mister, Hey Mister come over."  "I'm over here Mister."  The poor guy looked confused so I quickly encouraged him to come back because I wanted to reinforce the behavior of Rye reaching out.  He came back, walked up to the window and from the back... "Hey Mister, What took you so long?"  Poor guy looks at me with that well are you going to say something to your kid or what kind of  look.  I smile at him, turned to Rye and said "Good job talking to somebody you don't know and I really like the way you used a What question," and I drove off. 

Probably not my best moment in parenting, but I'll take what I can get! 



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Please don't label my child

I began my day this morning with the usual routine of settling in, checking email and Facebook before officially starting my day.   I read a post by a Mother Warrior I know named Tammy Wheaton.  She has a son on the spectrum and is a wonderful advocate.  Tammy was outraged, as am I, over a clip from The Family Guy where there is discussion in a doctor's office waiting room over "an autistic lady."   The clip is on Youtube if you must see it, it is ridiculous, annoying, and the kind of thing that makes you want to write the President of Fox (I'll bet Tammy will), etc.  

Everything about the clip is offensive but the part that stands out the most to me is probably the part that would not stand out to most people who don't have a child on the spectrum.  Here is the deal folks, the term "autistic" is offensive, it makes my skin crawl. People who are not informed about autism don't know this and that is okay we need to educate them.  Using the term has been deemed acceptable for so long and it's origin comes from the official diagnosis of Autistic Disorder.  That being said, I am so glad the change is being made in the new DSM to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Our children are first and foremost our children, that is children with autism, folks on the spectrum, individuals with autism, and people.  "Autistic" is a label.  Please don't label my child.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"I don't like people mom".

Maybe he understands his autism a little more than I give him credit for?  As usual I am encouraging, prompting and pretty much demanding that Rye participate in social experiences.  Following the Premack Principle to a tea and using positive reinforcement to muddle our way through a play date.  But when it comes right down to it guess what Mom, "I don't like people".  This is the one thing I wish I could change, if I was given a magic wand for one day, this is what I would change.  Until that happens I will keep pushing, keep scheduling those play dates, premacking that schedule and reinforcing the positive interactions!