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20 Questions

on December 20, 2011

In the last couple of years since we figured out Alex’s diagnosis, we have weathered many a storm. Part of the storm includes answering a boatload of questions. I understand the curiosity and the desire people have to understand or help our situation, and I appreciate it. Still, sometimes the same questions get asked over and over, and at a certain point you have to laugh at some of them.

So, this blog is focused on the most common questions I get when it comes to Alex, my son, and his Autism. Some of them have become comical, so I will answer them as such; don’t be offended, I truly find them humorous because of the nature of my son, and I know you couldn’t possibly know what you’re getting into when you ask such a seemingly harmless question! Others are more on the serious side, so I have tried to provide some informational, brief answers to satisfy my readers’ collective curiosities.

Now that the politically correct statements have been made, here are my top 20 favorite questions:

1) Q: What is Autism? A: To be brief, the most basic definition of the word Autism is “Self-propelled,” or, having a tendency to view life in terms of one’s own needs and desires. Essentially, Autistic people are often sort of stuck in their own minds. It is SO much bigger than this, but I promised to keep this short 😉

2) Q: What kind of Autism does Alex have? A: (Sigh) In short, Alex exhibits “sensory-seeking behaviors” equivalent to that of WWE style wrestling. I call him my own little personal pinball machine because he feels the need to bounce off everything nearby. He is smart, but his body gets in the way of his learning and communicative progress. And that is the tip of the iceberg.

3) Q: Are you going to have more kids? A: Probably not, folks, I’d really kind of like to stay married to my husband 😉

4) Q: How is Alex doing? Is he getting better? A: Yeah, there’s really no easy answer to this question. Alex’s moods vary from day to day, good and bad, up and down. The term “getting better” is somewhat inappropriate here and can be frustrating. Hint: Perhaps a more appropriate question might be “have you found anything that makes life a little easier for him?”

5) Q: How’s school going? A: Um, usually not so good, but we’re working on that, thanks.

6) Q: How are you doing? A: Do you really want to know?

7) Q: Do you think Alex will ever be cured? A: Autism is not a disease, therefore this question is moot.

8. Q: Have you read that book by Jenny McCarthy? A: For the 50th time, yes. But please understand that she is a Hollywood mother who is not a doctor, and whose credibility has been questioned over and over again. Love her heart for her son, but take her advice with a grain of salt, people.

9) Q: I was watching the news last night, and they featured kids with autism, did you see that? A: No. No, I didn’t, because the news has their own agenda and only about 10% of what they feature happens to be valid. Not to mention the fact that I live this stuff every day. I don’t need some clueless broadcaster telling me about Autism. Hint: This answer applies to all the articles and other features that people either ask me about or give me. Trust me, I do my own research. I don’t have time for every article everybody finds on the topic, but thank you for your effort!!

10) Q: So what do the colored puzzle pieces on the Autism ribbon mean? A: The colored pieces of the Autism “puzzle” ribbon represent the fact that Autism affects children all over the world, of every shape, size, and skin color. It does not play favorites. The puzzle theme itself represents the nature of Autism, and how we have yet to put all the puzzle pieces together to figure out what causes Autism, and why its numbers are affecting our children at such an alarming rate.

11) Q: Why do Autistic kids like to line toys up? A: I honestly don’t know. I personally find it kind of cool.

12) Q: (From my husband): Do you need me to come home early today? A: Are you joking? YES. Every day.

13) Q: I have some experience with kids; maybe I can take your son sometime for you? A: Bahahaha….I’m sorry, no really, I am; it is SO sweet of you to offer. It’s just that Alex is SO intense, he’s not just like any other kid; you have to get to know him. You want to take my kid for a couple of hours for me? You have to come hang out with us a couple of times and learn his routines first.

14) Q: (To my husband from his place of work) – Why do you have to leave work sometimes at moment’s notice? A: Because I have a special needs kid and my wife is about to have a nervous breakdown.

15) Q: Have you heard about that diet for Autistic kids? A: YES. Many times. In fact, we have Alex mostly on that diet. It’s called a GFCF, or Gluten-free, Casein-free diet, and it does help, to a point. Want to know more? Google it.

16) Q: How do you do this and still have time for everything else? A: We don’t have time for anything. But we still have to do everything. It is what it is.

17) Q: Why can’t you attend fun “kid” events like most other families? A: Because my child will eat your child for breakfast. No, really, this is a whole other blog in and of itself…big events are hard for him; aside from overstimulation and people who don’t understand his unruly behaviors, he does not do well in public situations for long periods of time. Plus, Mommy really doesn’t enjoy the looks of disdain she gets from the other parents who think he is just being naughty.

18) Q: Chicken Nuggets? That’s all he eats? A: Yes, it is. And I am just happy he’ll eat something substantial at all. Some Autistic kids won’t eat. Mine is healthy and thriving on DinoBuddies chicken nuggets, and that’s just fine with me. Hint: Please don’t tell me about how your parents made you eat what was put on the table or you didn’t eat when you were a kid. That’s not helpful, and all it does is make me feel bad.

19) Q: Is he like this all the time? A: No, he’s very calm when he sleeps. 😉

20) Q: Why are there padlocks on your refrigerator? A: Because Alex is very fond of cooking. He especially likes to break open eggs all over the kitchen and in the refrigerator. Fun for Alex, but no fun for Mommy to clean up. Then there’s yelling and crying and Mommy’s unhappy. And when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

So there you have it, friends. 20 honest answers to 20 honest questions I get on a regular basis. Hopefully it brought you a little laughter and maybe a lot more information, without offending you!


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