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

Monday, 16 April 2012

"IDIOSYNCRASIES"...can you relate?

There are some great #hash tags out in Twitterland associated with autism. One of the first ones I came across and wrote a post about was #youmightbeanautismparentif. I found the tweets under this category put a smile on my face, were touching, cute, painful, profound, and some roll on the floor laugh my a**off funny (of course those were the ones I gravitated towards).  :) I think you could even say that that particular hash tag went viral with tweets coming from the autism community around the world. Some of the tweets brought back memories and even more, made me realize just how “common” some of our kids’ “differences” could be.

There is something about connecting with someone you have never met but who has experienced the exact same thing that is comforting. So I thought to myself…maybe there was somebody out there that could relate to some of Riley’s ummmmm “idiosyncrasies” who thought only their child had them. So here are just a few of R’s latest ones that come to mind.

1.      Person specific vocabulary:

Depending on who you are Riley has specific words that you can and can NOT use with him.  For whatever reason, certain people are only “allowed” to use certain words.  If you were to use an “unacceptable” word, he will correct you EACH.AND.EVERY.TIME without fail. There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to why although I’m sure if R could explain, it would make perfect sense. The words can change at any time. Some are short lived and even though others have been around for years (I am serious here), I personally can’t seem to remember MY restrictions until the word is halfway out of my mouth and before I can correct myself, will be busted by R. Here are a few examples.

R does not like me to say the word “alright” as a response.  He will immediately comeback with “just say OK” or “try and say OK”. After I correct myself he will respond with “that’s better”. I can pretty much answer with anything from yes to the cow jumped over the moon just so long as I don’t say “alright”. Go figure?!?!

If G refers to Riley by anything other than “Buster” (a nickname G calls R) these days, he will be corrected. Riley only started insisting within the last year or so.  More recently R has taken it even further and actually tried to sign his name as Buster at the DMV.  Don’t panic, we were not there for a Driver’s license but for a provincial ID card. We are still recovering from driving with J2 when he had his Learner’s license. Oish! 

Uncle Stewart can only be referred to as Uncle Stoo (with an emphasis on the ‘oooo’). Again his response is “just say Uncle Stoo” or “call him Uncle Stoo please”. This, however, applies to anybody within earshot.

2.      Three servings at meal time

Certain foods he likes to have in 3 servings; his chicken noodle soup, Mr. Noodles with “no seasoning” (remember he doesn’t like any visible signs of the green flecks) and perogies.  Hot dogs do not fall under this category and well, that pretty much covers his entire diet with the exception of a few other less desirable foods which he would prefer to eat in one serving and be done with.

3.      Then there’s walking:

J2 noticed about 3 years ago when they were walking to school that Riley would adjust his step to make sure he was exactly in step with him (ie same foot forward at the same time). We were quite intrigued when this first started happening. Later we would do a little shuffle step to see how long it would take R to notice…uh that would be pretty much immediately. Yah yah, sounds mean but come on…seriously???  R would find it amusing until about the fifth or sixth time.  :)  The real challenge would come if he walked between me and G and the two of us weren’t in sync. HA!    

So does your child have any of the same or different “idiosyncrasies” as Riley?  What are they?

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  1. Ha! I love this post! I used to try to sabotage R's matching-steps-while-walking thing all of the time, especially when we did the paper route. We'd giggle about it, but probably looked like absolute nutcases as we were both walking trying to out-shuffle the other person (R obviously always won). I sometimes wondered whether R would tolerate a three legged race, where he would have no choice but to have mirrored steps. :)

    Who does he pick to follow when you and G are walking with him? :D


    1. mean to tell me it went back even further than I thought??? YIKES! HA! He does seem to be coming out of that one a little bit more these days. Has moved on to "shredding" his shirts. Oish.

      He would be most confused about who to copy (G or me) and would try and match steps with who ever he was looking at. HA!

  2. My 5 year old kiddo on the spectrum does share R's idiosyncrasy with acceptable and unacceptable words. Certain things, like his pillow pet are to be referred to as, "Pandy", not pillow or pillow pet. So that among many. I'll take it, at least I can change my words and meltdown is averted. Makes me wonder how many times this upset him before he was verbal and couldn't explain or tell us to change it? Change in tone can also set him off. I suppose the slightest things can set them off. And #youmightbeanautismparentif was so fun I want a revival! I think it did such wonders for our community, for us as parents and caregivers. It also made my Twitter addiction 10 times worse;)

    1. Yes...tone is a biggie with R too! He's very sensitive. Anything negative sounding can set him off as well. He used to get upset if I was "calling" J2 from upstairs - thought I was getting mad at him because I was not using my "inside" voice. Ha!

      I agree...maybe #YMBAAPI2 or #YMBAAPItheSequel??? :D

  3. Awesome! I have a 3-page Word document on my laptop for each kid that I regularly revise and share with every new babysitter, teacher or camp counselor we encounter. I get so tired of explaining all of their "quirks"...

    I seriously have already drafted a #youmightbeanautismparentif blog post in my head, because I was thinking the other day how much it energized us and wanted to relive that for a bit!

    1. A Word document...what a great idea!!! I should definitely start one. I find it's sometimes hard to remember all the "quirks" to tell new people cause they just kinda blend in after a while. Ha.

      Cari at Bubble Gum on My Shoe said the same thing about #youmightbeanautismparentif! I think I feel a sequel in the making. :)

  4. I am not allowed to eat apples around Blake. In fact, he would rather that I didn’t allow them into the house. He can tolerate it from other people now, but since he knows that I know that he isn’t keen on apple-eating, it is seen as an overt act of disrespect if I associate with apples at all.

    1. Is it the same for apple desserts too??? I could live without apples if need be. Thank goodness it's not something as important as! HA!