Life w/ a Non-Verbal Kid w/ Autism Can Be Too Quiet
August 15, 2016
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Now Reading: Life w/ a Non-Verbal Kid w/ Autism Can Be Too Quiet
August 15, 2016
So wifey went away this weekend to the NJ shore with a couple of girlfriends. So I’ve kinda been like a single autism parent from Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon.
And my 13-year-old son with autism and epilepsy was pretty darn great this weekend. He was mellow. And went with the flow. I have absolutely nothing to complain about and wifey truly deserved this weekend away.
This post is just about something I noticed while kinda being a single parent over this weekend. Basically, I leaned it’s quiet when there’s no other verbal person in the house for three days.
Of course I talk to the king but it’s a complete one-sided conversation.
And if I’m being perfectly honest I probably don’t talk to him as much as I should and definitely not as much as one would with a typical 13-year-old.
I will ask him lots of questions throughout the day and generally explain what I am doing and give him a blow by blow of what our agenda for that day is.
But I’ll admit that quite a bit of the rest of the talking I do is just listing steps.
“Wash your hands, turn off the water, use the towel.”
“Get your peanut butter out of the fridge, grab a spoon, sit down…”
So when I saw my sister and her family on Saturday afternoon it dawned on me that I probably went close to 24 hours without having a conversation with another human being.
And we were home alone for most of the day on Sunday.
I took a vacation day today because wifey wasn’t getting home until right before his school bus. So while the king was in school today I was puttering around the house, doing errands, etc. And at some point I realized that the first conversation I had with another human being in person in I don’t know how many hours was with the waitress at the diner at 1pm this afternoon.
Basically having this weekend without wifey made me better appreciate what she goes through each weekday when I’m at work even more.
She’s a stay at home mom (SAHM) and there are some days when I walk in the door from work at 6:45pm and she’s immediately talking my ear off. Giving me a complete blow-by-blow of her day.
And I’m tired from work and probably not paying full attention to her and she gets annoyed.
Every once in a while she’ll say something like, “you’re the first person I’ve had a conversation with all day. And you’re gonna come home in a bad mood? C’mon just fake it like you’re interested for 10 minutes and let me talk. You’ve been at work in meetings having adult conversations all day”
And up until today I didn’t really appreciate what she was talking about or what she was going through. But after this weekend with so few conversations, I now totally get it and appreciate it. I actually couldn’t wait for her to get home from her trip so I could have somebody to have a conversation with!
And boy did she talk my ear off when she got home! 🙂
Now I know what some of you were thinking, “why doesn’t she get a job?”
I’ll cover that in a blog post tomorrow, but for now this is what I wanted to cover. The fact that life with a non verbal kid with autism can sometimes be very quiet. And you can go for long long stretches without a conversation.
Do other autism parents of non verbal kids feel this way? You feel what I’m talking about? Or is this something that only single parents deal with? Or I guess if you’re a single autism parent, then you have to work so you have conversations while you’re working?
So maybe this is only a SAHM autism mom thing?
All I know is it was really quiet around here without wifey. And I will try to be better about listening to her when she talks my ear off when I first get home. 🙂
Written byFrank Campagna
I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).