This post is now available in the ‘Life with an Autistic Son’ ebook available to download from Amazon.
I’ve posted a guest blog this week at Stuart Duncan’s excellent site ‘Autism from a Father’s Point of View’. The site is well worth a visit if you’ve not seen it before:
I’d like to share a very inspirational email I received this week from a woman called Patti. She is happy for me to share this and would welcome any feedback as she is preparing to write about her own experiences with autism. I’m sure you will share my admiration for her.
Dear B’s Dad,
I read your blog about B and his reactions to a very confusing, noisy, changing, unrelenting world. I, too, live in that world; however, because of my age, 66, have never been officially diagnosed as autistic— Was not fashionable back in the time I grew up. I was considered Educationally Mentally Retarded, hyperative, inattentive (now called ADHD), failure to thrive, dyslexic, schizophrenic, obsessive/compulsive (OCD) and mentally ill.; finally put on the autistic syndrome..and I am considered gifted–some thing that has come about in the last 20 years when I could finally sit still long enough to talk with an “autistic specialest.” None of these things are ME–they are my diagnosis….
I still have meltdowns in stores–the lights buzz, the carts squeek, I get lost and try not to go unless absolutely necessary; and most often than not–leave without finishing what I need to get–the same with resturants, parties. Flashing lights can cause instant headaches; and touching is very painful at times. On other days, every thing is fine. My clothes itch my overly sensitive skin–and loud sounds hurt my ears. Words more often than not–don’t make sense because my ears can’t filter out what people say from the what is being said on the TV, radio, my birds or outside noise. And I have a very strict routine so I can survive my days with some semblence of order and accomplish many things. I have worked a full time job and raised a son with many of the same symptoms. And you are quite right, most people don’t understand…how it is to live in a very confusing world. It’s the way I am wired….
Sorry, got distracted–but this is the way my mind works…B is lucky because he has a Dad that cares and understands; a brother that does exactly the right thing, plays with him on his level. The other thing I want to mention–working with lots of people “like me”, we find that keeping feet moving, or active, or touching the ground helps to keep many of us in the “here” and focused…Lots of times, as right now, I am sitting with a tennis ball under my foot–rolling it around–one foot than the other…seems to help with concentration.
Thanks for the read…..Patti Wetterman….
Hi, fab blog, not sure if it was your intention but it made me laugh out loud, in recognition I suppose! With regards to the obsessive behaviour, our little boy developed a fascination with all things Christmas, ok at Christmas but not in January, don’t know how many times I’ve said “hes gone back to North Pole now”!!! Fascinating email from Patti, thanks for sharing
Thanks for sharing, I had to laugh often because it was like you were describing my boy! They seem very similar. Thanks for sharing!
i’ve spent about 2 hours reading your blog today and this part has just made me laugh and cry all in one go. sounds just like my little man with everything you have wrote….the ds language thing baffled me, and the silly dance thing….well he always manages to do it at the right moment. thank you for sharing 🙂
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