Friday, September 9, 2011

Cookie cutter.....I think not!

We were at the thrift store last Monday with my friend Andria. She had to head home (30 minutes from here), so the boys and I went with her while she paid for her things, said our goodbyes, then kept looking around. I was looking at the books and had given Lucas a book to look at. He was asking me questions about the book (it was a book about different jobs and had a dog dressed up as different professions). I had already answered lots of questions and he was asking me questions I had already answered. I was browsing the books and he'd say, "And what is this one, Momma?". Well, without looking, I couldn't answer, so I'd look at a few books, then turn to look at his book and answer him. But, before I could answer, he'd ask a few times. Never did he yell, but would just get a little louder each time. A woman (probably 60 or so) came over and said something to him. I don't even remember what, but I think it was "excuse me". Lucas paid her no attention, so I said, "Lucas, someone is trying to talk to you." Lucas briefly acknowledged her, so she began talking to him. "How about I join you with your yelling. Do you think we'd make a good team?" Lucas answered, "Yes." She laughed a bit and said, "No, I don't think so. Are you in school?" I told her that he would be starting kindergarten. I didn't say I'd be homeschooling (or that he had already gone to a year and a half of pre-school through the public school system), so she proceeded, "You know what they are going to tell you at school? To use your inside voice." At this point I told her that he is Autistic. Now, I have had a couple of doctors tell me they think he is, but he has never been diagnosed with it. His current doctor actually says she doesn't believe it is Autism, but ADHD and that is the diagnosis she has given him. Regardless, he does have a lot of the characteristics and I wanted this woman to back off. I said, "Well, he is Autistic, so that is a hard one." "Oh. I know. I worked with kids for 20 years." I let it roll off my back pretty easily and she probably thought she was helping me out. Had her tone been a bit different, I might have responded differently, but it does bother me that just because my child looks "normal" people think it is okay to comment on his behavior. It just makes me wonder, if my child appeared handicapped and was being loud, would a person still think it was okay to try to quiet him??

I should add. I don't let Lucas just yell and carry on. I do try to quiet him and if it becomes too much, one of us will usually leave with him. I have to admit that I've learned to tune a lot of it out (as his doctor's have told me to ignore the bad if it isn't too bad and give lots of praises for the good). So, I'm not constantly reprimanding him for being noisy. I try to quiet him if we are in public, but usually my efforts are useless. I've really gotten to the point that I don't care if people don't get it. It isn't fair to me or my boys to try to shield them, so we go and carry on just like anyone else, we just happen to be a bit noisier about it. It just really makes me wonder when everyone is going to realize that we don't all fit into a cookie cutter mold.


Olivia said...

You should get Lucas diagnosed and tested by a psychologist or at least specialist for future help at least. If he were to ever need SSI or disability aid, it is good to have documentation now while he is young. He is lucky to have proactive parents so he may never need these extra services. ADHD and autism have a high comorbidity rate, so it is possible to have either or both. Anxiety disorders other disorders with high comorbidity with autism.

Mrs. Russell said...

(-: Trying not to be sassy, but Lucas has been tested by specialists and they had differing opinions....Candi's a pro at this!

I don't know, it sounds like she wasn't being rude so much as just acknowledging Lucas and chatting with him as I can see a teacher doing with a child. But, I wasn't there to feel the "feelings" around it. As a teacher she probably did recognize Lucas as somewhere on the spectrum.

Honestly, I wouldn't' say anything to anyone about their child's behavior, but I'd be more likely to chat with a child who was like Lucas, than one who was just being a hoodlum.

Or maybe she was just a nose wench...(-:

Mrs. Russell said...

Haha, just realized I'm signed in on my work account!!! Guess I'm all formal now.

Candi said...

Olivia, I haven't taken Lucas to a psychologist (yet), but he has been to two different developmental pediatricians and two different neurologists and they did all have differing opinions. One neurologist said ADHD and Autism and here are some meds for your child (he was 4), one dev. ped said "rule out Autism, ADHD, and diplegia", one developmental ped (the one he sees currently) said "absolutely not Autism, but ADHD" and one neurologist also said he didn't feel it was Autism. I have a friend who has told me a bit about SSI (as her son qualifies) and I haven't looked into it a whole lot, but I don't think he would qualify at this point because of our income.

Shyla (Mrs. Russell....LOL!), I didn't think this woman was being rude, but I have had others who I felt were. What I really wanted to say to her is, "Man. If you think he is being loud now, you should hear him when he really gets going!" :-)

Candi said...

I should also add that I am hesitant to get a whole bunch of diagnoses and labels in his medical record. There are good things and bad things that can come from that.