Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Telling Riley

“When is the right time to tell your child they have autism?” 

There are lots of articles that deal with “telling your child they have autism” or “when is the right time to tell your child they have autism”.  I used to (and still do) break out into a sweat when people talk about it. Why???  Well...we have not actually sat down and had that particular conversation with Riley and he’s 17! We have never hidden the fact that R has autism from him.  As a matter of fact, we talk quite openly about autism in our house.  However I think it all depends on your child and their ability to cognitively understand.  Therein lies the issue for us.

I wouldn’t have a clue how to sit down and actually “tell/talk to” Riley about autism. We have a hard enough time trying to figure out where something might be if it doesn’t make it home from school with him.  As an example, a while back his communication book didn’t make it home.  Not an emergency by any means but this had been happening quite a bit and I like to keep in touch with what’s been happening at school.  It was like a game of 50 questions that seemed to be going in circles.  Here’s the abridged version:

Me:       Where is your black book?
R:         It’s in my backpack.
Me:       Show me.
R:         (Looking around in his backpack.)  It’s not here.
Me:       Is it at school?
R:         No.
Me:       Did you bring it home?
R:         It’s in my locker.
Me:       It’s in your locker at school?
R:         No. It’s at SV. 
            (SV is a grocery store where R goes for work experience).
Me:       It’s in your locker at SV? (hmm…didn’t realize he had a locker at SV and still not sure if he does?!?)
R:         Yes.
Me:       Are you sure it’s not at school?
R:         Yes.  It’s not at school.
Me:       OK.  Let’s go to SV. 

We drive to SV and we go into the store.  R goes upstairs to check and comes back.

R:         It’s not there.
Me:       Are you sure you brought your black book to work?
R:         Yes I’m sure.
Me:       Were you looking at the black book?
R:         Yes I was looking at the black book.
Me:       Where were you looking at the black book?
R:         Upstairs.

Oi-vay.  Thankfully we run into one of the ladies who works there and has taken a shine to R.  Before I put you completely to sleep…we recovered the book.  R had left it on a buggy in the store.  Go figure.

Soooo...anybody want to volunteer to have a heart to heart with R?  Anybody?  Anybody at all???  D 


  1. "It’s in my backpack."
    "Show me."
    "It’s not here."

    LOL! I don't mean to laugh at you, I'm laughing at myself. This post is the story of my life!

    1. Trust me...I know you're not laughing at me. =D Hey...if you don't laugh at this...where would you be. A sense of humour is THE most important thing for sure!!!

  2. Glad his black book was found! :) I have an important notebook (b/c I am old school) and if I can't find it I go into a panic.

    1. I use a calendar book as well to write everything down otherwise I forget (the ol' age thing again). I was getting a bit panicky. R...didn't seem to phase him at all. HA!

  3. OMG i've toyed with this idea. I don't think Tommy has the cognitive ability to UNDERSTAND what autism is. Right now.. everything is why. Why homeschool, why sit down, why go to the store.. why why why. I hate the letter y. Further, I don't think Tommy REALIZES he's "different". Maybe he thinks WE'RE the different ones lol. Such a hard topic. Good luck!

    1. Yea...thanks. I'll let you know how it goes if I ever do it. :) For Riley the issue's always been about what could we say that would make sense to him or have meaning for him - the understanding like you say.

      My sister said I should just tell him, he'll carry on like usual and I don't have to sweat about it anymore. May just do that. LOL!

    2. i'm not touching it unless i HAVE to. I don't see that happening anytime soon. Same with the sex ed stuff. He's none the wiser of his The longer we can keep it that way, the better.