Monday, 17 October 2011

Are You NORMAL Enough?

If there's one thing that grates on my nerves, it's hearing "Oh, he looks so normal!  I see nothing wrong with him...  You're being too hard on him."

And then Dayton does something that hurts someone.  And discipline is expected.  And I don't wanna give it.  And I see other kids not being disciplined for hurting my son.  And I don't like it.  And the other kids annoy the ever living $#@! out of me.  And the kids actually look for things to get Dayton in trouble.

No, I'm not imagining things.  Before Dayton got grounded, his little seven year old buddy came running in tow with another kid whining that "Dayton picked his nose and wiped his finger on his pants."  Seriously?!  Sitting with his mom, I looked him straight in the eye and said:  "Seriously?!  That's what you came to squeal on Dayton for?  Get out of here!"  His mom, my friend, did NOT look impressed.  Oh well.   I'm tired of the chihuahua barking at my heals, telling me every single time Dayton goes pee, wipes his face, or picks his nose.  Enough already.  Maybe I'm getting fed up with kids in general, or maybe it's the stress talking.  I have been going through quite a bit of stress lately, haven't I...

Anyways...  Yes, Dayton looks normal.  He's a beautiful child, with blond hair and light green eyes, almost blue.  Doesn't change the fact he has autism.  That's why it's called a spectrum.  Dayton fits on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum (diagnosed with PDD-NOS), but less functioning than someone with aspergers syndrome.  He is cognitively delayed, which means it takes Dayton twice as long to learn something, which means he's behind academically, which means he needs more help in communicating, etc...

Maybe I am a little more protective of him than the average mom.  Maybe I am a little more apprehensive of letting him play outside with his friends without me being present.  Maybe I am a little more anal retentive than I should be.  Maybe I intervene too much with his friends in order to prevent a physical fight or melt down for Dayton.

It's even more frustrating when a friend tells me that I'm too involved with Dayton's play with his friends, or that maybe this is just who Dayton is...  it's a personality "thing."

Really?  A personality thing?  Seriously? 

I hate the term 'normal,' but here we go...

Dayton is cognitively delayed, making him academically behind his peers, yet he is normal enough to know it and feel embarrassed enough to have a melt down.

Dayton's communication skills are delayed, and he has a problem expressing his feelings to others, yet he is normal enough to know when his peers are getting annoyed with him, interrupting him constantly so he can't finish telling them what his problem is, which makes him blow up and throw a fit.

Dayton's got swag like his big mamma.  We tend to trip over air, which means he's not very coordinated and he's normal enough to know that the kids are laughing at him.  This makes him not want to participate in playing sports like soccer.

Dayton needs to be explained the rules to a game, or he'll make his own.  If you break the rules, he freaks.  And he's not "normal" enough to understand that people break rules and cheat ALL the time...

Dayton can't handle loud music, it hurts his ears!  He has sensory issues that most of us don't.  What would you do in order to avoid pain?

These are just five examples, there are many more.  But I'm sure you get the idea.

Personality types are completely different from deficits.  Just sayin.  Like my personality...  I'm a giver, a care taker and a fixer.  I have to fix everything and everyone.  If someone's sad, I have to get them to smile.  I'm a people pleaser, and can't stand it when I feel someone doesn't like me.  I mean come on!  I'm awesome, right?!  As a parent, I don't want my boy being looked upon as a trouble maker or a bad kid.  That's my 'personality.'  I know that sometimes I can be overbearing, and that's OK.  I know as I'm doing it that it's something I can continue or should stop and I can.  Dayton on the other hand has no control over his 'personality.'  That's the difference.


Consider yourselves hugged,


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