Monday, July 25, 2011

Club Spectrum: The Secret Handshake

I think there should be a secret handshake, or maybe a special signal or an awesome hand stamp we can show each other.  How many times do you see someone that you know has a child on the spectrum and you just want to yell :I'm in the same boat" and just want to hug that person?  I was recently reading a Blog post by Autism Unexpected, where she goes into being at the grocery store and seeing a man with his son who is defiantly on the spectrum.  I find it funny that the last two times I noticed kids  on the spectrum I too was in the grocery store. 

It was only one of those times I actually spoke to a mom, I wanted to tell her she was a great mom, I wanted to say I have one too!  She was in the dairy section of the supermarket with her son,  I was alone with my daughter, left the boy at home.  He was holding an Ipad.....she was reinforcing how great he was doing at sitting quietly.  I just wanted to reach out to her, I wanted to say "Hey, me too, I have a kid at home and he is on the spectrum too.  Tell me it gets easier, tell me your secret, give me advice".  I didn't say any of that.....instead I said "excuse me, where did you get the case for that Ipad"  She told me at the Verizon store, I then mentioned my son also had an Ipad....its like you can see the lights go on in someones head when they realize.  We talked about how it was such a great tool, how it helped her shop, about her sons behaviors, diagnosis etc.  I think us moms long to talk to others like us, its hard, they say we are 1 in 100, but with no obvious hint of a Spectrum Disorder, you can't always see someone like you. 

The second time in the store, I didn't see an Ipad, I saw two boys in a cart.  One boy sitting quietly and the other verbally stimming, then I heard the words "Quiet mouth"....Whhhaaat quiet mouth!  Your kid listens to quiet mouth, crap I'm walking around this store shoving crackers in my sons mouth so he wont grunt uncontrollably!  I knew she was like me, I knew they were like us.  Once again I wanted to yell, "you are doing a great job, you are a good mom!"

I think we need code word, can I just scream CLUB S and see who turns around?  My greatest fear would be approaching someone who's kid isn't on the spectrum, or at least doesn't know it......that would suck.  I don't know if I am the only one who yearns to be near other parents on the Spectrum, its probably half the reason I made this blog, but its just nice to have something in common.   Sometimes I want that other person to know they are not alone.  Maybe one day I will get gutsy and just start talking to all the ones I suspect, but till now, I'll work on our code/handshake.

1 comment:

  1. I've often thought the same thing! I just want to say, "I get it. I've been there. It's ok." But like you said, I don't want to assume their kid has autism too. Definitely a "mad cool sign" for parents to "flash" each other would be awesome!