Ten Fun Things I Learned as the Parent of Autistic Boys

1. Laughter is very important. Yes, you can find your child’s faux pas funny. The trick is not to let them see, or hear, you laugh.

2. Pokemon is forever, and ever, and ever…. And so is  Star Wars, Star Trek, Bleach, Yugi-yoh…but not necessarily Tolkien.

3. On-line worldwide multi-player games never go away. They simply morph into new and different games. From World of Warcraft to Star Wars-Old Republic and back again.

4. They can play on parental feeling really really well.  My youngest son had his wisdom teeth out. He was not supposed to do any heavy lifting, exercise, or overexert himself in any way. But while he recuperated, I suddenly became “mommy,” again, instead of “( eye roll) mom.” He let me coddle him, indulge him, and bring him all his favorite foods. Honestly, I really enjoyed this trip down memory lane, especially since he really wasn’t in a bad way at all.

5. They steal your credit card because they think you are cheap when it comes to charitable giving.  My oldest son has always been a very charitable person. Well, one day my oldest decided that I had not given enough to a particular cause and took it upon himself to take my credit card and donate more money. Of course, he knew he did wrong. He went into my emails and deleted the receipts and letter from the charity. Little did he know that for credit cards there are bills and bank statements as well. He ended up having to reimburse me and forever had to earn “points” if he was going to earn back a video game or any of his card games ever again. It was an interesting life lesson that quite frankly got a chuckle out of every adult, especially the therapists and psychologists I told. What teenager steals a credit card to give to charity and not buy expensive kicks?! Mine, that’s who!

6. Yep, they get humor – my youngest son’s favorite number is 42, cue “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, his favorite book. The number 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. His gym locker has to be number 42, and when you ask him a question that he just doesn’t want to answer he gives the answer as 42. 

7. They prank archaeologists of the future. Always ask before you get mad when they seem to be in destructo mode. Their rationale will floor you. Who knew that a piano bench was not for sitting and playing at the piano? 

8. My life is an episode of the Big Bang Theory. This speaks for itself.

9. They can and do act like typical teens. Don’t ever tell them to wear a jacket when it’s cold outside.

10. They become champions of fighting the wrongs of this world. My youngest son eventually got banned from Twitter for going after anti-Semites. He was rather inelegant about it, but then again, it’s hard to be respectful to haters of any kind.

Elise, an award-winning blogger, writes about the practical aspects of raising autistic children at her blog Raising Asperger’s Kids, http://practicalautism.com. She writes under the pen-name Elise Ronan, to protect her sons’ privacy, and has permission from them to tell their story.

Everything Elise writes about raising autistic children can be applied to any disability, invisible or even physical. There is information about creating your child’s support village, and practical information grouped by age. These direct pages can be found on the sidebar on her blog page. She is open to answering questions about her writings and helping other parents where she can. You can reach her at practicalautism@gmail.com.

Elise also writes a book review blog at Journaling on Paper, http://journalingonpaper.com.  She reviews different genres from memoirs, to spy thrillers, murder mysteries, space operas, historical fiction, and more. She also explores the use of language, and its effects.