A couple of years ago I started another blog about my life with a child with FASD but I eventually abandoned it to get a little more focused on other things, including this blog, more books, and becoming a trainer and parent coach, specializing in FASD and other Neurobehavioral disorders. This blog post was from 3 years ago when my son was 9. What’s funny is that nothing has changed. NOTHING. I’m not sure what particular part of the brain is involved in being self-aware, but it still hasn’t activated. We could have had this conversation yesterday – about camp, homeschool playgroup, or anywhere else he came into contact with another human being. ~Adrienne
This morning my dearest darling boy said two things to me about the kids at his new school, which specializes in kids with special needs:
“There’s this girl at my school who makes noise all day. She saysUuuunnnhhh, Uuuunnnhhh, Uuuunnnhhh all day long.”
Oh brother, I thought. He really doesn’t get it, does he?
I said: “You make noises all day long. Maybe not at school, but at home. IsUuuunnnhhh, Uuuunnnhhh,Uuuunnnhhh any different than screaming SHOT THROUGH THE HEART/YOU’RE TO BLAME/YOU GIVE LOVE/A BAD NAME over and over and over and over again? All day long?”
“I don’t do that,” my baby said.
“Yes, you do,” I said. “You also do this:Whooooop! Whooooop! Whooooop! Whooooop! a lot.”
“I don’t do that.”
“Yes, you really do.”
The next thing he said is this: ”I don’t like autistic people. I don’t want autistic people riding in our car.”
He said this because we’re carpooling with an additional child this afternoon. I don’t know if she’s autistic or not, frankly. But I do know that the child we carpool with primarily IS autistic, and my baby knows this. He also likes our carpool friend. He’s even said our carpool friend, let’s call him Bubba, is his best friend.
“What about Bubba?”
“He doesn’t count.”
“I think you just don’t want someone new in our car.”
“No, I don’t like autistic people and I don’t want them in our car.”
“What if someone said they don’t like you because you have FASD or ADHD? What if they said they didn’t want you in their car?”
“I’d say they were stupid and I would kill them.”
“Well, can you see how it’s not nice to autistic people to say you don’t like them and don’t want them in our car? Can you think about being kind and accepting to people like you want them to be to you?”
“What? What do you mean?”
“You want people to like you, right?”
“Your brain works differently than many people, right?”
“Yes. You too, Mommy. You’re stupid and your butt is big.”
“SHOT THROUGH THE HEART/AND YOU’RE TO BLAME/YOU GIVE LOVE/A BAD NAME.”
“I want to finish this conversation.”
“Can I have cheese?”
“Please. Can we talk about this?”
“Whooooop! Whooooop! Whooooop! Whooooop! I’m outta here!
The best book on FASD I know is FASD: Trying Differently Rather than Harder, by Diane Malbin. I am writing my own book, but it is taking a while. If you are the parent of a child with an FASD, Diane’s book is a MUST.
To learn more about the non-profit I started to train parents and professionals about FASD, please visit FAFASD.ORG.