Any parent of an autistic child will have the thought 'I can't tell people that' whether it's because it's embarrassing, taboo, disgusting, or just too damn private!
But things happen! and keeping it a secret can become a reason for depression or isolation, and I feel that some people may think it is only them that have to deal with certain things and that others will look down on them as parent's/people if other people found out what their child actually does! but in my life and social circles I have found that these 'things' happen to others, and it is such a relief to be able to talk to some who understands and doesn't judge. maybe if we were more open it would become easier to talk and thus creating a greater feeling of acceptance and involvement with the outside world.
I myself have no problems telling people what my boys have been up to. I tend to use humor to help the poor innocent non-knowing people, my tales of woe and disasters. As these innocents might not be strong enough to deal with the truth! and it in turn with humor it allows them to have some form of interaction with my stories. And it diffuses any potential pre-conceived ignorant ideas of what it is actually like to raise autistic children.
So here is a list of 'Taboo' subjects parents may feel uncomfortable to talk about.
1 - POOH. my son has a hatred of pooh, and whenever he does a pooh and we don't notice, he will try to remove it with his hands, and then he will try to get it off his hands, and then me and mommy have a lot of cleaning to do. clothes, carpets, walls.
2 - POTTY TRAINING. (see No 1 for consequences) my son is not yet potty trained at 5yrs old and shows no sign of improving any time soon, he wears a nappy almost 24/7. Get over it!! I'm not asking you to change him!
3 - DINNER TIME. hahaha this one is always a treat, we have to make up 3 different dinners for our children every day (and have a back up plan if plan A doesn't work) they eat at random speeds, anything from shoving everything in their mouth in one go (yes, better the wipes to clean up after this one) to placing every item off their plate into intricate patterns on the table, then walking away for a suspicious amount of time, only to come back later to eat everything. Not forgetting the 'DUCK flying potato' alarm!
4 - SPITTiNG. we have had to deal with this one on a random basis (thank god) as it is pretty disgusting, It seems that holding and swilling juice or phlegm in you'r mouth is a great thing! but what do they do when they have had enough fun? Yep! that's right, it just comes out, wherever they are whatever they are on. it gets even worse when they try to suck it back up! Oooh fun. speed and a keen eye is key to tackle this one.
5 - SPEECH. Both of my boys have had problems talking (connor can now talk, he started about 4/5) But Aiden is definitely non-verbal. strangers and new people we meet will say to him (innocently) 'hello, you look happy, whats your name?' and its up to me or mommy to tell them he cant talk! They mostly reply with 'oh I'm sorry' Sorry? what for? you didn't do it to him! It's just him, like he has blonde hair or blue eyes, nothing for them to be sorry about, we can communicate n a way that we can mostly understand. It's o.k.
6 - TANTRUMS. They happen. and we know how to deal with them(ish) They can happen anywhere, and They can be BIG, but we learn from the triggers and try to not let that situation happen again, especially in public places where it can get dangerous. Who gives a f&*k what other people say to each other and stare in awe as to how awesome I am as a parent when I get the situation under control, and do not turn to the ways of 'bad parent's' by hitting and swearing at my child like I hate them and only have them for the money! (yes just had a dig at those unworthy parent's)
7 - SCHOOL BUS. Aiden gets picked up and dropped off outside our house every week day of the school term time. This is a blessing not a stigma!
8 - RUBBING. erm? well? oh? ah?.........this is probably my most feared public display of sensory exploration! as it can't be seen in any other way than my son is 'spanking the monkey' but he does this outside of his clothing, and not the way that teenage boys do! He is only creating a physical sensation to himself when he gets bored, irritated by an uncomfortable nappy, or lack of other stimulation's. It makes everybody feel uncomfortable who witness it, and he gets very angry when we stop him (he doesn't understand why it is wrong) as he is only trying to feel something that he can identify with, The things we do to distract him from this are, dancing, singing his favorite songs (that involve holding his hands for actions) and just offering another type of physical stimuli.
9 - MY HOUSE. My house has been adapted to make my children safe and secure. Yes all of my doors upstairs have locks on them! after you have stopped the bathroom from flooding the entire house and caught you'r child from hanging out of the window by his ankles, and removed toys and teddies from the toilet, then you can say that is an extreme and oppressive way of home management!
Also, my carpets are stained, the wallpaper is missing pieces, and I don't have shiny ornaments on display!! But it is clean (unless you come at that perfectly timed moment that everybody seems to)
10 - MANNERS. As much as you try to teach you'r child manners, when it comes to situations like visitors coming into you'r house, they will go straight for the 'What have you got for me? and give it me now!'
And Connor has the 'The truth is the truth' way of life, like the time he went up to a complete stranger and told him "you'r belly is fat" and "that woman has a beard! is she a man?" these situations make you want to curl into a ball and disappear, but let's face it. It's only the boundaries of society that stop us from saying exactly what we really want to, and given half the chance we would!