(originally written & published on February 19, 2012)
We have an 8 year old son with severe/ classic non-verbal autism. He is our only child. So we have untypical lives. Here are 13 things that are normal/typical for us in our life on Autism Avenue, but not to most others. Some may be things that parents of babies of toddlers find familiar, but not parents of neuro-typical 8 year old boys...
Do I really feel and live the "why be normal?" mantra. If you've been reading this page long enough you'll know that's not always the way I feel. I'd love a typical/ normal lifestyle. But this is the hand we've been dealt so i say let's make the best of it and find humor in the "not normal", right? If you can't beat them, join them... :-)
So here is is our story and I'm sticking to it...
1) We can't leave hand soap (or any soap) out in our bathrooms because Kyle like to eat it. He's really tested the concept of "non-toxic" on product labels!
When guests come over we have to instruct them to unhook the child proof latch below the bathroom sink and grab the soap from down there... and replace it and lock it up again, don't forget! :-). We went thru a similar phase where we had to hide the toilet paper too cuz he liked to eat it or unravel it, but that phase has subsided.... for now
2) We normally change Kyles sheets every 2 weeks. And somehow every morning after we change the sheets Kyle has an accident & wets the bed and we have to re change the sheets we just changed yesterday...Oh and it's the usually the only time he has an overnight pee accident. Twice a month, right after the fresh sheets were put on.
3) Up until a few months ago, we always had a big supply of size 5T Pull-Ups on hand. And a big sale would send this daddy into a tizzy!
4) We always have 10 boxes of microwave popcorn in Kyles cabinet in the kitchen. When there's a 10 for $10 sale we get very excited! And popcorn can be served as a supplement to breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Basically popcorn is an anytime food in this house.
5) We always have lots of baby food bananas on hand. Does Kyle love baby food bananas? Not really.... But it's how he takes his pills.
6) Kyle still sometimes needs to be strapped in to his seat when he eats. He's got some feeding issues and has had a history of LOSING quite a bit of weight. So sometimes it has to be done.
7) We've got a DVR full of Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and Jacks Big Music Show. Some are Kyles favorite episodes that we've saved from as far back as 2004. And I totally see Kyle still watching these when he's 34 years old...
8) He's got a bookshelf full of the same toddler books.
Kyle's been reading his same favorite books for YEARS and it's very hard to get a new favorite into the mix. But he always rips and destroys his favs for his birthday or Christmas he'll usually receive a gift from someone of new copies of his old favorites....
9) Kyle has an autism service dog. NOTHING typical about that! :-)
You can read more about "Princess Paula" HERE
10) We still have child gates on rooms we don't want Kyle in,
child locks on cabinets we don't want him in, and most amazingly Kyle has NEVER been in our basement! Basement is unfinished and has WAY too many dangerous things down there. Basement door is ALWAYS locked...
11) Kyle likes to sit on the bathroom sink and drink the hot water from the sink.
I would say that 60% of his liquid intake for the day comes this way. A few times a year in our downstairs bathroom he'll sit a certain way and pull the main pipe out of the wall and they'll be water all over the floor. Autism Daddy is not the handiest daddy so I'll just duct tape the crap out of it... :-)
12) Kyle has a trampoline and a swing inside the house, in his playroom.
We have quasi gym flooring in there as well.
Having a meltdown? Go work it out by bouncing on a ball while bouncing on the treadmill...
13) Kyle isn't too cool to want to be picked up and held. In fact he goes thru phases when he wants me to pick him up all the time. He can be very huggy/kissy, probably more than your typical 8 year old. But I'm not sure how I'll be able to continue to pick him up when he's a teenager and weighs ?? pounds. I guess I should give up running and move towards weight training....
Those are the 13 that popped in my head right away on a Sunday morning at 5:45am while he was eating popcorn for breakfast and drinking water out of the sink. But there are tons more, so maybe I'll update this list periodically or come up with a new one from time to time....
What are your things that are normal for your asd household that would be considered untypical to most?
-- If you're gonna shop Amazon anyway, can I ask that you enter Amazon by using the search box above or by going to http://www.amazon.com/?tag=a050ef-20 This way I can make a little money to help pay for my son's after school & weekend therapies. This blogging thing has been awesome & life changing for me... but I must admit that it's taking up a lot more time than I ever thought... so if I can make a few bucks it'll make it easier for me to justify....Love you all! Thanks!!