Thursday, April 26, 2012

Me? Frustrated?

I've been building fairly thick skin lately as the mother of two Asperger's kiddos.  I've explained their autism before but just as a reminder as to why I continuously re-dye the grey roots popping out from my lovely red hair, I'll restate my conundrum. 

Aspie kids are honest.  They're painfully honest and at the same time completely unaware as to how awkward their comments can be in social situations.  Now consider the most embarrassing thing one of your own children has said in public.  Are you with me?  Good.  Now, multiply that by 20.  Double that.  Welcome to my world.

Here's an example:  My oldest son, William is sixteen.  He thinks he's older and therefore qualified to discuss "adult content" with adults.  How he concluded this is beyond me; however, when he decided to make a loud comment about the size of a waitress' "rack" (he's partially deaf so everything is LOUD), my thought was, "oh, so not cool!"  Of course, Eric, my husband - Will's dad - is a gentleman, and was completely flabbergasted.  Out of the restaurant our son was immediately escorted.  Holy Moses! 

Austynn is no better.  Another restaurant (always restaurants, why do we even go?), the waitress had an obvious facial birthmark.  Don't do it, Austynn..don't!  "What's that ugly thing on your face?"  Ugggh!  Dammit! 

The look on the poor girl's face was enough to make me weep for her.

It doesn't matter how many times we talk with the boys about empathy.  We're constantly reminding them about people's feelings.  How would they like it if someone pointed out their flaws or deficiencies?  Autistic kids are also impulsive.  They say the first thing that comes to their minds - good or bad - they'll just throw it out there.  And the hardest part is my boys don't look like there's anything wrong with them so people assume my kiddos are being rude or impolite.  No, my kids are being typical, Aspie kids.

So I have a favor to ask...if you're ever approached by a kiddo with an awkward comment, just smile, nod your head, and agree with him (statistics imply that Asperger's kids are typically male).  Chances are they're telling you the truth anyway.  I can't tell you how many times Austynn has told me how gross my dinners are or William has said I have bad breath.  Yeah, and you know what?  They're ususally right.  Now, where are my breath mints?