Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mommy Said a Bad Word..

We have a rule here that we don't use the S word. And I don't mean the Sh#t word, I mean the Stupid word (having a child with Learning Disabilities who's daily put into situations that make him feel *stupid* makes you more aware of the power of words).

So some time ago, when the boys were getting into one of their circular "You're stupid", "No, you're stupid" arguments, I told them they were no longer allowed to say Stupid, but that they were allowed to say Eggplant. After a few rounds of "You're Eggplant". "No, you're Eggplant." they both burst out in giggles and that was the end of that particular circular argument. And it has worked wonders since. Whenever the S word is uttered I'll go "uhm, you mean Eggplant?". Giggles ensue ... problem solved.

Now why am I sharing this? Well, tonite once again I came across a bunch of moronic comment intended to make the point that Asperger's is not autism, that Asperger's is distinct from autism, that Asperger's is genetic/a set of character traits, that kids with Asperger's do not have the medical problems you see in *our* kids [e.g. kids with "true" autism].

This just drives me NUTS. I am sure there are Asperger's kiddos out there that are perfectly healthy (have yet to meet one though), just like there are kids out there with autism that are perfectly healthy. Just like there are Asperger's kids who are *sick as dogs* (like mine was) and kids with "true" autism that are *sick as dogs". But for whatever, not yet well understood reason, some *sick as dogs* kids are much more affected in the neurodevelopmental department than other. But hey, autism is a SPECTRUM, right?

(Oh, get this .. My NT kiddo? He had the same medical problems that you see in *our* kids. Now how's that for blowing the 'you don't see these issues in kids that are not autistic' hypothesis out of the water?? Ever heard of Dr. Martha's Herbert assessment that "the brain is downstream"?).

So I was reading the mentioned moronic comments while my monkeys were still bouncing around. And Potatey heard me mutter on my breath; "What, I can't believe we're going into that same stupid argument again?" And out comes: "Ooooh, mommy said a baaaad word. Say Eggplant, mommy".

You're right, my precious; "I can't believe we're going into that same Eggplant argument again." And I couldn't help but giggle. As when it all comes down to it, who cares about the Eggplant comments? I know what is going on for my two, both the "not truly autistic" one and the NT one. And I know what to do about it. And that's all that matters..

Eggplant indeed...

(and I really liked Mark Blaxill's comment about "Asperger's is autism with language". Dead on!! And in quite a few cases the language that the Asperger's kiddos have is not really functional language.. )


At 11:32 AM, July 02, 2008 , Anonymous Jeanne said...

I thought you did a great job yourself with your AoA comment on the subject.

I hope the guy from AoA who made those ignorant comments visits your site - it would be quite an epiphany for him I am sure.

On a lighter note, "eggplant"... I LOVE IT! I'm going to start using that one.

At 12:03 AM, July 03, 2008 , Blogger Petra said...

Thanks, and thanks...

I'll be honest, when I first read the *eggplant* comments on AoA, I wanted to climb through my monitor and punch the guy out. My next instinct was to fire off a very *up yours* come back. But then my *better instincts* prevailed..

I do have to learn to control my *knee jerk* response on this particular topic though.. as I said, I know what works for Salamander, so why the H E L L do I even care if somebody thinks Asperger's is not *true autism*?

Let's just say it's a sore point.. I've had to fight so long and hard to get Salamander the help (medical, educational, social, etc) he so desperately needed and continues to need, that even the suggestion that his challenges are not significant and do not warrant attention just makes all those Momma Bear instincts come roaring to the surface. I have several friends with kids that are much more severely affected (with very limited language) than Salamander ever was, and I completely *get* the magnitude of the kids and their families' struggles. But let me tell ya, just because Salamander has language, didn't mean he knew how to use that language to communicate in a meaningful and purposeful way..(TG THAT has changed SO much, especially in the last 6 months or so).


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