Autism and Ninjas
Kids with autism can be loud and pushy and all the things normal kids are, but they also have these special Ninja skills you don’t realize until you find the evidence .
You can watch them like a hawk and somehow they still manage to do sneaky things.
Things you find later, like 15 bags of chips under their bed.
It doesn’t matter that you just cleaned under there last week.
Or that you only bought 2 bags of chips this month.
There they 15 bags under the bed.
The child who only left your sight for school, sleeping and when you went to the bathroom.. somehow managed to turn 2 bags of chips into 15.
Then there are the locked doors.
You lock each and every door like Fort Knox, yet somehow he is standing stark naked on the porch, or running naked through the neighborhood, again.
That leads me to the clothes thing.
You spend 2 hours to get him dressed, underwear, pants, shirt, socks, shoes, jacket, hat, gloves and you turn your back to grab your purse and he is naked again.
2 seconds later!
Speaking of 2 seconds.
You know how kids can take a room from clean to trashed in 2 seconds? Autistic kids do that too; only their twist is everything is there in lines, lines that if you move cause major meltdowns. So said lines have to stay there for weeks or months at a time and they will KNOW if you moved one little thing.
Magic, Ninja skills?
As autism parents we develop certain ninja skills too.
The ability to know when said child is running naked through the neighborhood for one.
The ability to roll out of their bed after getting them to sleep and across the floor missing all legos, trains, lines and other obstacles, through the door and down the hall before making a sound.
In the dark!
The ability to drive said child to school, speech, ABA, OT and then drive to work or home ourselves without falling asleep after getting less sleep than the single mother of newborn quintuplets.
The ability to find the one and only food your child will eat this week because everything else is vomit worthy.
The ability to survive on only coffee and leftovers of the food your child ate last week and now won’t touch.
The ability to catch that little ninja and scoop him up the 1337th time he has run naked through the neighborhood this month.
The ability to know exactly what he wants or needs even when he can’t find the words to tell you.
The ability to put on a strong front when that jerk at the grocery calls your kid a brat during his meltdown.
The ability to stand up to the teacher who says your child can’t do (fill in the blank). Then help prove them wrong, by teaching him yourself.
The ability to not end up wearing prison orange when said teacher/jerk say these things.
The ability to love a child who might never say I love you, or anything at all and know they love you for it.
The patience to take the 2 hours that is needed to dress said ninja while preventing the 30th meltdown this week.
Most of all the ability to get up every morning and do it all again tomorrow with a smile.
Okay, maybe they are not ninja skills (except the sneaking out of bed thing).
However they are things autism parents deal with for years, not until the child is 3, or 4, or even 5.
I still do many of them and mine is 11 almost 12.
So when the parent of a child with autism says they are exhausted think of it as the single parent of newborn quintuplets who all breastfeed and have colic; exhausted.
Remember that we have that feeling for not 2 or 3 years but for many many more years.
Also remember that we do all that and still have mad ninja skills.
One last thing. Try and remember we are tired, but we love our kids with the same passion, and drive your love yours with, and we do it all on coffee and last weeks prefered food.