About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quirking Out

As I blogged, Brad started to "stim" as he approached his third birthday. That trajectory has continued. Lots of spinning and flapping, and lately he puts his finger on his nose when he talks - probably not a stim but quirky nonetheless. In any event, I regard stimming as a trait, not a symptom. I'm taking notice of it for the sake of taking notice of it, not to complain.

Also, he's memorized a lot of math. See, his grandmother gave him a kiddie laptop for Chanukah. Both of the boys received the same gift (although Jeremy's is slightly more advanced), but Brad has become attached to his while Jeremy's is collecting dust. No exagerration, he's memorized how to add or subtract any two numbers under 20. He can identify numbers up to 200. And it doesn't end when he puts down the laptop; he likes to recite it.

Anyway, a certain lightbulb has gone on. In the early days, I noted that some autism moms were defensive about their children - prompted by those looks from strangers. I didn't understand this last year, but I get that now. I've even received a few remarks from friends that have rubbed me the wrong way. Since I'm not anonymous, I won't elaborate. But suffice it to say, that lightbulb has gone on for me now.

Alas, a question for my sage readers: is there a tactful way to tell some one to STFU???

14 comments:

Patience said...

I'm not quite sure I understand. Are you defensive about Brad's talents like math or his quirky behaviours. (or does the math talent rate as quirky; personally I'd be pleased by it)
On the other hand I used to refrain from bragging about ANYTHING because some would say "oh yes they all do that or they all like trains or they're all good at art etc" If anyone tried this on my black daughter; it would be defined as racism or racial stereotyping.

Laura said...

oh I was using math as an example of the quirk factor. We were waiting for a table and Brad recited arithmetic for about 5 minutes. I don't think he knows what addition or subtraction is - it's just rote at this point.

Laura said...

Oh and yes, stereotypes are abound.

anything, sweetie said...

spooky- i just wrote something about this on my blog in response to one of your comments. i used to want to explain to everyone i saw look at him sideways what the deal was my son, but now i just think "well.. what's going to be more awkward? sitting here watching them judge and nudge, or... explaining?"

it's just chatter. rise above. people, even our friends, can be a little retro in their understandings of the world. what we are doing is, even though they don't realise it yet, just expanding people's perception of "normal" or "commonplace" just a tiny little bit.

meanwhile, check out the big brain on brad!

Nyx said...

I don't have any answers, but I felt like I had to comment just to say again that you have no idea how much your blog has helped me out. I wish I could offer some kind of help just to repay you. But I am still 1 year behind you, so I don't get too many weird looks or comments just yet. Oh, well, I get a lot of people who think I need to provide more structure. As though I can just snap my fingers and get both of my TWINS(one pdd-nos, the other NT) somehow magically on the same schedule, and they will sleep and eat exactly on time, and I will get sleep and get my work done and the house clean and we will all do Floortime together and everything will be perfect. Oh, yeah, and I need to wean them. yeah, they're 2 and I'm still breastfeeding them. So, yeah, I guess I do get some comments. Really, if I would just wean them, make a big posterboard like the nanny on TV, and hire a housekeeper (apparently with my tapped out credit card?), everything would just be perfect. Well, sorry I didn't actually mean this to turn out to be about me. But maybe I do have some thoughts for you after all. My first thought: do you really have to be polite? If so, how about: "Please don't take this the wrong way, but would you please STFU? I mean that in the nicest possible way. I just really need you to STFU. Sorry if that sounds kind of rude. But I really, really need for you to STFU." Would that work?

Shari said...

I just told my husband yesterday that this wouldn't be quite so hard if I could just get over my embarrassment. (Which I am finding is fairly easy to do.) I've never had anyone make a comment on my little guy's behavior before (except once), so I'm not sure how I would handle it. I do know that knowing that "something" is going on has made it a lot easier to deal with him and to let things go. And IMO he's really done a lot better since I am responding to him differently. I have a lot more patience with him that I did just 6 mo. ago.
P.S. Just wanted to add that my guy deals with wandering off, not listening or responding, and tantrums when he doesn't get his way. Different than Brad, but still attention drawing.

A little boy just 2 years old said...

I am just not the type to tell someone to butt out. I think one reason is that we're behind you in the type of looks our quirks are getting.

In my experience, the 'quirks' (reading, writing, writing in the air, hair twirling, counting, numbers, etc..) seem to be regarded as advanced, not quirky. So, it's more an issue when the mom picking up her child hears he was reading... and I just want to turn and walk away instead of face the prodding questions.

But I totally hear you - my DT carries around business cards (for her boys) that just say something about them having autism and if they have questions to visit autism society or some website. LOL, works for strangers I guess - but not so much for friends.

Stimey said...

I tend to use humor to deflect things like this. It obviously depends on the situation though. Who, where, and what makes a big difference on my reaction. It's tough when it's a friend. I don't know that I've gotten attitude from friends. Mostly, as long as Jack is unaffected, I couldn't care less what others think.

Laura said...

Anything Sweetie, ALBJ2YO and Stimey, of course, you're right. Rise above it, humor, discretion, all good strategies.

Nyx, AWESOME vent. I'm totally feeling it. LOL. You should really blog.

Shari, oh yeah, being the object of judgement is a universal mom theme, not unique to me or us, or even spectrum moms. *hands Shari a STFU coupon* Use this wisely.

MOM-NOS said...

We all need a "my kid's on the spectrum, what's your excuse?" pin.

Laura said...

MOM-NOS - LOL ain't it the truth...

rhemashope said...

I have those little business cards (there's a nice version and a not-so-nice version and I have both). I've been carrying them around for years and have never used them. We get looks all the time and I used to care. A lot. Now I'm just too busy trying to manage (i.e. keeping everyone around me safe and alive) to spend much time caring about what people think or say. The looks still bother me sometimes, but not nearly as much as it used to.

goodmum said...

Hmmm...I've never come up with a good way to tell someone to STFU without actually saying it. Hmmmm.... Maybe you could look around like you're lost and slightly senile and talk to yourself and ask yourself, "Do you hear something? It almost sounds human but it's not intelligent enough for a human..."

OK, that's a stupid idea but it's the best I've got right now...

rainbowmummy said...

Saying shut the f*ck up isn't being tactful? Oh well......

How about "You will find a hell of a lot more information at National Autistic Society.com (insert yours here) than you will from staring at my child when he is having a tantrum"

Or just give them the death stare.