Saturday, July 12, 2008

The other side of it.

A recent post by Mom to JBG made me realize that I don't always write about the things that aren't so great or don't go so well. Partly that's by design and partly it's because there just don't seem to be that many worth mentioning anymore. But just so you don't get the impression that everything around here is rosey all the time, we had a couple of moments today that completely and totally sucked. And do you know what? For about a half hour I was right back there. I was right back in that sad, sad place where I found myself that summer three years ago when we first started thinking about autism. I hate that place. I hate those moments when my son is just so friggin uncomfortable and unhappy, when I feel lost about what to do, and when everyone is looking at us -- even other kids his age and younger -- to figure out why he is crying and so agitated. And I hate looking around and seeing how easy it is for all the other kids and how their parents can just stand back and watch and not have to navigate and intervene. From where I stand, it looks so effortless for them.

We were invited to a lawn party at the church of a good friend. The invitation was extended because every year they put a giant piece of plastic (this thing was probably 20 feet wide and a hundred feet long) on a perfectly sloped piece of land, squirt it with some liquid soap and spray it with water to make one giant slip and slide and my friend thought Oliver would love it. And he did -- although he didn't quite get the idea and kept trying to get up and walk down --- but once at the top again he just could not accept the fact that he had to wait his turn. There were probably only 15 kids and for the most part they really zoomed down the slide so the wait wasn't long -- but he was having none of it. It wasn't ugly. It wasn't a meltdown. It was just boy who was so extremely agitated that it overshadowed any moments of fun that he might have had.

So we left. And it felt like such a huge failure.

Yes, I know: Oliver is doing so incredibly well. It's true. And we did the right thing by recognizing that it wasn't working and getting the hell out. But it still sucks.

It does.


  1. Nodding my head in understanding as I recal a recent moment of having to bodily remove Nik from the middle of the mall parking lot. He wanted to stay and watch the doors open and close and I, well, I wanted to get him home for lunch! Sigh...yes, those moments DO suck. Good thing they are only moments, huh? Hugs.

  2. Andrew would be agitated for exactly the same reasons. He would love the giant slip and slide, but to have to wait at the top for even the littlest bit of time would have him upset. Or sometimes he may be a little afraid and want to go down when he is ready and he has screaming kids behind him telling him to slide. He just hates the whole rule following thing when it comes to a fun sensory experience like a slide. Yea, it does suck, but your boy is still doing so awesome. Let the good times win over the sad. I know I struggle with the same here some days.

  3. I hate those moments too. the worst is when kids his age ask, "why is he doing that?" I feel for him in so many ways.

  4. You and me both dearie. I still cling to the hope that we can ride out the tide instead of recognizing and accepting where we are right now.
    Best wishes

  5. In no way is a strong effort and a learning experience a failure, but I totally feel your pain. It does suck to have to work at every little thing. It's outstanding though that you are overall doing so well.
    Have an amazing vacation.