Claw.. Ds1 told our icecream man 'you have to go away, we're not allowed icecreams today. You're only supposed to come at the weekend when mommy has money'
he only comes to the estate for us, no other kids, and I had told him when he asked previously that I'd only buy at the weekends so there was no point coming midweek. My version was less direct than ds1s though, dp and I were doubled over laughing at the way ds1 ordered him gone.
I find most don't 'get it' polter but I don't think that's the important part, like my neighbour she obviously doesn't get it, but she is lovely to ds and goes out of her way, that's the important bit.
As is our ice cream man, he comes everyday, parks directly outside our door and ds keeps him there for ages chatting away about totally random things. He doesn't know that ds has Autism, but has obviously noticed he is a bit 'quirky'. He finds ds delightful and funny (I think he thinks that ds is being humorous on purpose!)
Like the time ds went out to get an ice cream, wearing boxes from head to toe that he had taped together, like a suit of armour. Ice cream man said "wow that's great, what is it" (thinking ds was 'pretending' to be something) ds "boxes". He thinks ds has a very dry wit!
Well done claw, I told our new neighbours quite soon after we moved here, I don't really know why but we share a drive and I just had a feeling they'd benefit from knowing, partly because ds doesn't 'do manners' and comes across as very impolite (despite years of work on this). The woman responded by telling me she was a teacher and had taught a very bright boy with Aspergers, her husband was just lovely and told me about the difficulties his now adult daughter had experienced as she is deaf. Since then he's asked me how best to interact with ds and taken him (with dp) out on a nighttime wildlife walk with his night vision scope. Couldn't have asked for better really. People often surprise me, my lovely builder has been wonderful with ds and some colleagues have been really understanding. You really cannot tell who will get it and who won't.
I told my next door neighbour the other day after she shouted over the fence could her and her grand daughter (same age as ds) come in, so her GD could play in the paddling pool with ds.
After about 10 minutes ds got out and went to watch his ipod. Her GD kept asking when would ds be coming back to play and ds had no intention of playing anymore.
I was trying to explain that ds can only handle social interaction in small doses and he wasn't being rude, he just needed some alone time to help him cope. Watching his ipod, was his way of coping.
She then proceeded to tell me that someone once told her, her daughter was dyslexic and she was having none of that and that I shouldn't let anyone tell me my son has Autism. He looks fine to her and is a lovely, polite, gentle boy.
So apparently looking fine and being polite mean you don't have Autism!
Luckily for her, ds gets his politeness from me and I just went to put the kettle on and changed the subject!
I tell people who need to know, and people who seem as if they'd 'get' it. For example I was chatting to his football coach's wife and mentioned it as she's an incredibly down to earth and decent person and I knew she wouldn't get strange about it. Most of his friends parents don't know, although some know he has ADHD and others know he was under assessment and has been receiving OT, etc.
Tbh, I wouldn't bring it up unless it comes up in conversation as I don't want to make it into an issue which I think making a big announcement might do with some people, I find if they know him as ds1 first they tend to be quite relaxed when I mention his ASD/ADHD whereas if they heard the dx before knowing him I think it would cause some people to get a preconceived idea about him.
Another factor is that ds1 is quite young and although he knows there's something different about him he doesn't know his 'labels', we don't mention it and don't refer to him having ADHD or ASD, we just talk about his behaviours and help him deal with them without feeling to need to mention the cause. It's not a secret, if he asks I'll talk about it but he's very obsessive and if I said something like 'You do x because you have ASD' he'd focus on that and become very obsessive about it.
I think there are certain people who will never get it, I think what's easier once you have formal diagnosis is being able to respond with something along the lines of "oh, I hadn't realised you'd qualified as a paediatrician"
It is also easier when you yourself feel confident that the dx is correct, once you've done a bit of reading about the condition and as you get more confident dealing with your child in a way that works for you both (which may look to others like ineffectual and crap parenting, but we know better).
PollterGoose But how many actually get the point? I've only started telling people recently, as we only got Dx a couple of weeks ago, but I am stunned by some responses, e.g. 'it's not real', 'he looks alright to me'.
TBH, by now my skin is so thick, I don't really care about what they think about my parenting, but sometimes you need strangers to understand what it is like for your child.
Recently, we were at a BBQ, where DS got slightly anxious and chose to focus on one particular toy car. The toy belongs to an older girl and her father decided to take it away from DS, because he didn't want DS to break it. I told the man that DS would never break a toy, that he is always very careful and has never broken anything. Not convinced. I also told him that DS was calming himself by focusing on the toy. As the last resort, I told him about ASD and explained that DS would go into a meltdown if the toy was removed abruptly and asked to give me 5 minutes to prepare DS for the transition. The man just smirked, told me I was spoiling DS and took the toy away. I was so angry that if I didn't have to deal with the meltdown, I would probably be pinning the guy to the ground and causing some serious harm.
DS has been recently diagnosed with ASD, but we've suspected that for a few months. He ASD is not obvious for a casual onlooker and I find myself having to apologise for some of his behaviours - he is not too bad, he would probably just pass under 'naughty' or 'quirky' or 'bad parenting' for the judgemental. So I am often torn between looking like a bad mother and pretending not to care and telling people about DS' ASD. Unfortunately, to the uninitiated it's just another excuse for 'bad parenting'. How often do you tell strangers about your DC's ASD?