Neurodivergence

AWE-tism Acceptance – Day 13

rose-by-any-other-name-revised4

Then of course we are all taught…stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me…

When the truth is more on the lines of…

sticks-and-stones

And when those words are used to describe how we see our child…our paradigm…they are especially powerful!

They frame our lives…because in those tough moments when you are woken up several times during the night, when your child won’t do what is expected of her, or those meltdowns…that is when push comes to shove and what is inside comes out.

That is why I hate words like…

  • Troublemaker…
  • Bad boy/girl…
  • Naughty…
  • Disabled…
  • and even autistic.

If that is how we think about our child then when those tough times happen it would be harder to have the calm and patience that your child needs.

For us we use words like…

  • Different not less…
  • Dif-ability (different ability)…
  • Having a hard time right now…
  • Doing the best SHE can…
  • and of course…AWE-tistic as in AWESOME!

No, those words and attitude does not mean our life is suddenly charmed. We still have meltdowns…sometimes bad ones. But a lot less often now. PanKwake still has Pathological Demand Avoidance (though in her case the official words are high-functioning autism with demand avoidant traits).

For us, it goes deeper. I have taught PanKwake that she is a Super Hero. In fact, when I refer to another child with autism, I do not even use that word to describe him. I tell PanKwake that he is a Super Hero too. And if I am going to a meeting or a training on autism, I tell her I am going to an event for the parents of Super Heroes.

(Kids say the darnedest things. Last time I went to one, PanKwake told me not to listen to everything they said. That I knew more about dealing with it than they did. Remember that one…you know your child best!)

jean-flames
A pretty kick ass role model, don’t you think?

I have used Jean Grey of X-Men and Marvel Comics fame as the example. I have explained that her brain just works differently than other peoples…and that we just need to learn to train it. So we can harness its power for change.

Now there is one notable exception to all my power of positive thinking/speech. I tell PanKwake…usually late at night when she has woken me up for the sixth or tenth time to turn on the television or get her waffles…I tell her…

You’re a pain in my b^tt!

But I do it in a teasing way. We own that one. I have drummed it into her so much that she just smiles and responds,

Yes, Mommy. But that’s my job. To be a pain in the b^tt…and change the world.

With my adult children, who were not generally special needs but certainly wild and what some would describe as ‘hyperactive’, I used the term hell-razers. As in born to level hell.

The same could be said of trouble maker…it all depends on what kind of trouble you make.

Because the cold hard truth is…

People and especially society does not change unless forced to.

But now we are getting into world views…and the heart of why I am writing all this…and it sounds like a good place to start tomorrow.

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