I just read this post by Leah Kelley on her blog, 30 Days of Autism, and I had some real A-ha moments. Go ahead and jump over there and read it. You really should. I’ll wait right here until you get back.
Fantastic, right? I love how she defines the struggle between teaching her son about his disorder so that he can be his own advocate, but in so doing, she is making him aware of the lack of acceptance out there. What a paradox! I also loved the line, “If the only time we share that someone has autism – is when they are having a melt-down or struggling with something – then people only get to see the challenges.” What an eye opening moment for me. This is a far cry from when I used to wear (and dressed The Boy in) our autism walk T-shirts anytime we flew on a plane. Lots of food for thought here.
In any case, I also recognized the strategy of the “car talk”. The Boy and I have some of our most connected discussions in the car. We have long car trips every three to six months, and we talk about some big topics. In fact, I think he feels most comfortable asking questions of me in the car. After our talk the other day about the death of his first ASD teacher, we went on an errand several hours later, and he asked, “What is cremation?” something I had failed to fully explain in our previous conversation. And you know what? I felt more comfortable answering him than if I had to look at him, eye-to-eye. I started to wonder if our whole discussion about death would have been better handled in the car…
In any case, Leah’s post reminded me that I use this strategy without even thinking about it, and I wanted to pass it along.