Friday, September 5, 2008

Asperger's Syndrome and Hot Buttons

Oh, I was at the hair cutting place (Snip its) with Nick getting his hair cut today and the Hair Cut Lady (as Nick calls her) was going on and on about how he has gotten sooo tall … and I quickly interjected (quick but casual, as to not scare the poor woman) and said very politely, “Oh, he doesn’t like hearing that, he wants to be young and small” (so kindly shut the hell up—please). (You may want to read my "Dreams of Jail" post before this one to understand the horror that could ensue … but let’s just say it’s a real hot button.) And, as luck would have it, she didn’t get the hint, or the message, or the nature of autism. Instead she went on:

"What grade are you in now, Nick"
"Oh, wow your getting so OLD and sooo tall for your age … I still can't believe how TALL you’re getting. " Then she turns to me:
"Mom how do you feel that he’s sooo much BIGGER than you?"

Did she see my snarl?

While I was calmly sipping my Starbucks coffee and thinking: oh, for the love of God, shut the f… up!! And enjoying my coffee like it was my last meal, because I knew all too well that I would be crucified during the car ride home.

And I was right …

He went on and on and on … my lovely car ride home was supposed to involve me sipping my yummy coffee; humming to the music of my favorite stations; while driving with my windows rolled down and enjoying the last of the summer's afternoon air…

Alas, that is not how it went, instead I did my best to keep him calm (sweating) while he started kicking and punching the dashboard and seat of the front seat of the car. And then realizing that all of his teachers must be calling him a "big boy" at school and “older” and “taller,” and doing this everyday, too. And being that he is in the 8th grade and among the oldest in middle school, that he must be the tallest kid in his class, or close to it, so they're (kindly) acknowledging his height and it’s becoming a theme. All I would need is for him to be awarded “Most Grown During Summer Vacation” for it to be his banner year!

I will have no choice but to send the teacher an e-mail titled: “Red Alert” on Monday—first thing.


autismfamily said...

I am taking Nick on Monday for a haircut and this guy is a talker. He brings up things that Nick has no interest or knows about - ipod and playstation. Nick has Nintendo DS and likes animals, that is it.

Luckily it does not faze him too much, but I need to interject on his behalf since Nick would not know how to respond.

Good thing it only takes a few minutes and then we can be out of there.

Christina Shaver said...

I totally can relate. Just this morning after church, my husband and I were remarking that some people just don't get it. Evan is freaked out by new people and places and doesn't like strangers talking to him or about him. Most times when we say to someone "he's really shy," or "he's not very good with strangers," somehow they just don't get it.

Even people who know that he has "something" going on will continually try to coax a hello out of him. Listen, just because you know my kid has anxiety or ADHD or PDD doesn't mean that he will become magically compliant.

Just something we all deal with, I guess.