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.