Verbal Toilet

When I was in college, I once told one of my professors that my journal was my verbal toilet. My journal was a place where I could puke up all my innermost worries and thoughts. He looked at me slightly aghast, and maybe slightly appalled. (I don’t think he liked me all that well anyway, it was rumored he loved the butt kissers)

I thought the simile was apropos. When I had a buildup in of anxiety, I would throw words down on the paper as quickly as I could. It was free therapy, without being embarrassed about what other people thought. I don’t have to show other people my journal, unless of course I want to. And I certainly don’t have to write if I don’t feel like it, I’m not in school, grammar doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes the imperfections are more revealing than the actual writing.

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Thank you

I’d like to thank the high school student who put autism into perspective for me. I was subbing for a gym class yesterday and they had assemblies in the auditorium all day, so we had study hall in a lecture hall. I mention to the afore mentioned boy in passing conversation, that my son had autism. My son is five; he’s verbal, but has trouble expressing himself. The boy in the gym class was autistic, formally classified Asperger’s, as well. Had I had more time, I would have picked his brain all day long, he was brilliant! (intelligent brilliant and British brilliant 🙂 )  He helped me get a glimpse of what it’s like to be autistic. I will never know the full extent of what it’s like to experience ASD because I’m not autistic. I can read about the signs and symptoms until I’m blue in the face, but I will never be able to experience them. Oftentimes I feel like an outsider when L has meltdowns. I can’t always pinpoint the causes, and sometimes it takes me hours or even days to figure out what the trigger was. Only after I figure it out, can I take actions to avoid them or ease him into them. The biggest piece of advice that my gym class buddy let me in on was this, “don’t treat him differently.” I agree with him, I try to treat him like the normal little boy that he is, Liam is wiring is different and sometimes we have to work around that.

So in essence, thank you to the high school boy, whose name I should have figured out, for giving me a glimpse into my son’s head and for totally schooling me on what it means to have autism. And most importantly, thank you for renewing my hope in his future.