Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Autism is a fact of life in our house, and I finally learned to that it was okay to laugh about it, thanks to my friend Judy, who also has a child with autism. When she told me sometimes answered the phone "Judy's House of Autism!" and talked about having "the auties" in the backseat of her car, I busted out laughing. And guess what? The sky didn't fall and no one was struck dead and crispy by a thunder bolt. It doesn't mean I don't take my child's disability seriously, and I'm not making fun of my child -- I'm just finding the occasional silver lining on the cloud. So thanks for that, Judy.

Last night at Bunko, Gerri, a woman I don't know very well but whose husband's softball team played Ryan's last summer, asked me if my daughter was playing softball this spring, and I said no. I don't go around explaining Rachel to the whole world -- for instance, if she says something weird when we're checking out at the grocery store, I don't whisper "she's autistic!" to the checker or anything -- but usually I do mention it to people I'm acquainted with, especially other parents, with whom I talk about parenting things. So I continued, saying she didn't really play team sports, and then, "she has autism." For some weird reason, this met with peals of laughter from my two other friends, Sue and Jeannie, who were sitting there (in their defense, we were all a little drunk), and Sue goes "that's a sport in itself!" And we all cracked up (though Gerri looked a little uncomfortable). Anyway, it was fun. It was nice to be among friends who know my sense of humor and who I know are fond of Rachel but understand our struggles too. Sometimes all you can do is have a laugh, you know?

In related news, yesterday afternoon, Rachel freaked out about doing her homework -- it was very nearly a visit to the "Vortex of Indecision" where we used to go almost every day -- and I thought "oh shit, spring's here!" I made an appointment for her to go to the doctor so we can talk about upping her anti-depressant and get her on an antihistamine. I really hope we can get through the rest of this school year without too much disruption -- I know it's probably too much to hope for for her to do as well as she did last year, in such a structured classroom, but I'm hoping she's matured enough in the last year or two that she at least do better than she did two years ago, when she kept getting sent to the principal's office :-/

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