Recently I’ve been thinking what I probably needed on my bookshelf was a not so “nice” book. A book that tells you how it really is, without the silver lining, without so many “pretty” pictures. I think I would call it “Autism. What You Actually Need To Know”.
It would read something like this.
Synopsis: Autism is mostly genetic. Your genes probably caused this. Or maybe it was your partner’s genes. When in doubt, blame your partner.
Chapter 1: The Meltdown
Synopsis: A Meltdown is not a Temper tantrum. Here’s 10 ways to help YOU recover, after your child has.
Synopsis: How to cope when you realize your child may not be Einstein or be able to count cards for you in Las Vegas. (Insert picture of Rain Man with a big red stop sign.)
Chapter 3: Making Friends (For you not your child)
Synopsis: The importance of having two types of friends, those who support you and those who you can slowly go crazy with you. Hint: These “crazy” people also have kids on the Spectrum.
Chapter 4: Sport is NOT for Everyone
Synopsis: Focus on what your child is good at. Being able to build a replica of the Eiffel Tower in Lego will probably give your child a better chance at getting into University than hitting a tennis ball will. And your child will be happy. And you will be happy too.
Chapter 5: Finding A Square Hole
Synopsis: Don’t try and mould your square peg child into a round hole environment. Find a square hole where they can be themselves, and be happy. If you can’t find one, create one. Most people are open to change, except your child. They don’t, I repeat don’t, like change.
Chapter 6: Forget about Homework
Synopsis: The title is the chapter. Seriously. Forget about Homework.
Chapter 7: Bribery
Synopsis: Behavioural Modification Therapy should really be called Bribery Motivation Therapy. Their brains may be uniquely wired in some parts but the good behaviour equals reward neurons are firing exceptionally well. Use them to your advantage.
Synopsis: Don’t say it’s “raining cats and dogs” if it isn’t! Your child will get wet trying to find the cats, and the dogs, falling from the sky. The same goes for butterflies, they never have, and never will, survive in someone’s stomach, regardless of how nervous you are. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with the tears about fictional dead butterflies.
Chapter 9: The Mummy Meltdown
Synopsis: Every Mummy has the occasional Meltdown. That’s okay. Use it as an instructional tool, “see how Mummy calms herself down”. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Followed by a glass of Vodka, I mean water.
Chapter 10: FAQ’s
Synopsis: Quick fix solutions for every day problems. This chapter contains no references to Vodka. None. Really. Well maybe a couple.
Final Chapter: It Gets A LOT Easier (Hint: Read this chapter first)
Synopsis: The meltdowns will stop. Your home will be tidy. Your child will be calm. You will feel like a friggin’ champion because you’ve survived and raised an awesome kid. As a bonus, now you know what to do when you have Grandkids, because remember folks, Autism is genetic!
THE END. GOOD LUCK.
See, a practical, no nonsense guide to autism.
So, who wants a copy?