Saturday, April 6, 2013

So aware, we're UNaware

Have you ever seen the movie, "The Three Amigos"? It's a *really* cheesy movie from back in the 80's, and there's a scene where the amigos say something along the lines of "he's SO famous, he's IN-famous!" (if my mom is reading this, and she may be the only one still checking my much-neglected blog, she's cracking up right now because she totally remembers that quote)

That's kind of how I'm feeling about autism awareness at the moment. We've been living it for almost 12 years (although we've only known it for almost 9). We're 3 for 3 when it comes to children on the spectrum, so it's all we know. We're SO aware, we've become UNaware. And by that I mean, autism is so deeply woven into every aspect of life that it is hard to distinguish unless you're looking for it. We know it's there, we just don't notice it that much anymore.

It's in the choices we make as a family - where we go, where we don't go. What we do, and what we avoid doing.

It's in our home. The furnishings we never accumulated because our boys need open space and minimal hard corners, the furniture we no longer have because it crumbled under the strain of three very exuberant boys using it for a playground, a canvas, a railroad, a trampoline, etc. The ongoing home repairs (thankfully dh is good at that kind of stuff) because things it never would have occurred to me could get broken, do indeed get broken. Like the towel rack over the sink that was ripped out of the wall when someone climbed up there and STOOD on it.

It's in our interactions, because it's an integral part of how my sons perceive the world and communicate with those around them. It's in the way my older boys often talk to us in numbered lists ("I have three things to tell you, number one is..."), how they prefer to quantify things ("I'm 82% done with my homework") and offer detailed dissertations to eventually say what technically could have been summed up in 2-3 words (ironic considering the time and effort involved in trying to get them to use words at all when they were younger). It's in the way my youngest has developed his own unique brand of "pretend play" in which he pulls everyone into his world whether they want to be or not (lol, certain big brothers who have never really enjoyed pretend play and are very literal thinkers protest their little brother's forays into fantasy every step of the way).

All of these little fingerprints of autism are a part of what makes my family, MY family. It doesn't define us, but it is a part of who we are. My precious boys, our quirky conversations, the eardrum-defying noise level that signifies that everyone is home and accounted for (and awake). I wouldn't change any of it.


This is what autism looks like at our house... pretty darn handsome if you ask me :).


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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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