Honey Badger Just Dont Care

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Trifecta Writing Weekday Challenge

I like to participate in the Weekend Challenges, where I can usually write up a funny quip, but never really had the time brainstorm to participate in the Weekday challenge that is often more detailed and involved. But this week, specifically today, I had a muse to provide my inspiration.

A new report came out today about the increasing rates of Autism. It is now 1 in 88. Sure, a lot can be attributed to increases in awareness, hence the reason for the increase, but there is an issue out there that needs addressing. What very much upset me though was not the study, but the responses of people on Facebook, Yahoo, our local news, etc and their views of the study, and more specifically, their views of autistic children and their parents. I kid you not that there are individuals who believe that it is all a sham, and that poor parental disciplining is the reason, i.e. people dont know how to control their kids, so they pull out the autism label. Those people readily suggested “ass kickings” and “beating” and how such methods worked on them and “they grew up fine”. Other people readily express their opinion that the dx is just handed out with no backing (you have to jump through many a test and hurdle to get the dx). One person, using their Facebook Profile to post their opinion, stated, and I copied their comment: “They have always been around. We called them “Group 3”, “special class”, “window kickers”, etc. It seemed as though they were always going to the Zoo, or some other cool place. It was the opposite of “inclusion”. Where do I vote for a return to that policy?”

My jaw is currently on the floor.

So, since I havent written a blog in a while, I figured I would combine the Trifecta into some advocacy for my child. Advocacy against the ignoramuses in the world that he will have to deal with on a regular basis.

Here is a link to the challenge. http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/

I have to use the word “Cheap” according to the 3rd Definition of the word, and write between 33 and 333 words

cheap adj \ˈchēp\

1   a : purchasable below the going price or the real value

     b : charging or obtainable at a low price <a good cheaphotel> <cheap tickets>
     c : depreciated in value (as by currency inflation) <cheapdollars>
2   : gained or done with little effort <a cheap victory> <talk ischeap>

     b : contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities <feeling cheap>

So without further adieu…

Different

My son is “Spectrum”. He does not possess all of the criteria for a full blown “Autism” Diagnosis, but he does exhibit enough to be considered “Spectrum”. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. The moment I tilted my head and looked at him puzzlingly, realizing he didn’t speak anymore. He didn’t point, he didn’t make his needs/wants known. He played in isolation, and in repetitive fashion. He was like a shadow.

That was 4 years ago. We went through a lot to get him where he is now. On the surface, he “appears normal”. He is social. He is funny. He is a great kid. He goes to Kindergarten. He loves school.

But there is something. Something there that makes him stand out as “different”. He is friendly with his classmates, but he is like a shadow. He doesn’t initiate, but he follows. He plays alone. He has his rituals and necessary habits, such as lining up his Hot Wheels cars, or writing the same thing over, and over and over again. Even when presented with the latest craze in toys, toys his peers would be begging their parents for, he prefers bags of cheap, multicolored pom poms from the dollar store. He loves to arduously and meticulously glue them, row by row, column by column on paper. Tasks that most children would find boringly repetitive and unappealing will occupy him for hours.

I was devastated when we found out. Devastated. My child would never be “normal”. He will always struggle in society. He will always struggle to fit in. Then I tilted my head again while watching him. Watching him write the same thing for the 10th time in a row.

That brain of his is amazing. It sees the world in a much different way than the rest of us. That is not something to be sad about. That is something to be envious of. Only time will tell how that brain will do wonderful things for this world.

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13 thoughts on “Trifecta Writing Weekday Challenge

  1. This is a great article! I like your writing and what you are saying. I have always thought that ‘different’ does not mean better or worse…just different 🙂

    • Agreed. Different shouldn’t carry a negative connotation. I have someone very close in my life with similar (but different, if you will) issues. And, while he does have some shortcomings, his musical talent is unlike anyone else in the family. And he is almost always happy. Who wouldn’t be envious of that?

      Well said, mom.

  2. This is a heartwarming beautiful post. 🙂

  3. Awww thanks 🙂

    This was a tough day….I wont lie….As much as I try to not let the opinions of others who have not walked a day in my shoes bother me, I am just dumfound as to the heartless things people can and do say….

    For every person posting their personal experiences with Autism, there are 3 people saying ignorant things…

  4. As a special education teacher, I have sat through many meetings with parents who are in different stages of acceptance. I love, LOVE the stage you’re in. What an awesome way to look at. Everyone learns differently. I was never able to sit well in a row, quietly, working on my own (this did not go over well in Catholic School). Schools are really opening up to using different methods of teaching in order to access all the different types of learners out there. Way to go, mom!

  5. Awww shucks 🙂

    I truly do marvel though and wonder what he will be “good” at…

  6. Scriptor Obscura on said:

    I loved this story. You are wonderful.

  7. Thanks for linking up to Trifecta this week. I haven’t read news of the study yet, but I can well imagine the Facebook reactions. I like your response here: heartfelt and honest. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. I identify with this so strongly. Personally, I believe the 1 in 38 number from a recent study in South Korea, myself. And oh yeah. The people whose asses I wanted to kick were the ones who said such churlish idiotic things. they don’t realize that 1 in 88 is still something like 1 percent.

    Those who know me don’t dare say such things on my walls, because I fight with my claws out. Here’s my recent post about it, just before the new numbers came out, revised to reflect the new stats.

    http://jesterqueen.com/2012/03/25/spectrum/

    • Its interesting that you brought up the Korean stats…we adopted our son from Korea, and I just discovered from another adoptive mom, that Ilsan, a town outside of Seoul, has THE largest concentration of Autism world wide…

  9. A lot of people really don’t understand autism at all. They often assume it’s synonimous with ‘stupid’, or that awful word, ‘retarded’. It’s more of a different perspective, one you describe really well in your post. it’s a square-peg kind of learning style, shoved into the round hole of the public education system. My sister struggled so much with the teachers trying to force her to learn in a round-peg kind of way, before my mother had jumped through all the hoops the government put in place for learning assistance.
    Great post!

  10. Thanks everyone for your wonderful words!

  11. Wow, so that’s how people know how to do this. Great write up by the way.

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