Monday, February 15, 2010

Why Must There Always Be a Problem?

There is a Seinfeld episode in which George Costanza wants to buy a Frogger video game machine in order to keep his high score in perpetuity. When he realizes that by moving the machine—and unplugging it—his high score will disappear, he shouts in frustration: "Why must there always be a problem?!"

Sometimes I feel like I live my life in George Costanza's world.

I have spent the past four years learning about autism, learning about therapies for autism, learning to advocate for my autistic child, and building bridges in the autism community, both local and online. The fact that I still feel like a neophyte is beside the point.

The point, and I do have one, is that now that I have poured my soul into learning to parent one child with autism and two typical kids, I'm starting to figure out that my two non-autistic kids may not be so typical after all. I've just called Child Find about my youngest son, which brings me to three early intervention calls for three kids.

The thing is, my youngest son is not autistic. He's much more OCD, which is something I know nothing about. (Other than my own little bizarro OCD tendencies.) We're starting to look at my oldest son in terms of counseling and impulse control issues, which may or may not be a diagnosable issue, but I do know that I'm pretty clueless about figuring out how to go about the whole thing.

I understand that even if they did all fall under the ASD umbrella that they would still all be very different children with different needs, but at least I could follow the same basic roadmap that I'm already on. Frankly, if they were all typical kids, they'd be very different children with different needs, but again: same roadmap. Do I really have to start from square one with a whole new set—or two—of issues to research?

The fortunate thing is that I see bits of myself in each of them, which is both reassuring in that I kind of know what they're thinking and feeling, and sort of a bummer in that I've passed on these extra challenges to them. But at least I have a little bit of a start point.

I'll figure it out. We've started down paths to get everyone what they need, and I'll learn along the way, just as I did with my first complicated kid. But, jeez, why must there always be a problem?

Stimey is learning as she goes along and blogs about all of it at her personal blog, Stimeyland. She also writes a Washington Times Communities column called Autism Unexpected and runs an autism events website for Montgomery County, Maryland, at AutMont. If she has to start new blogs for a whole new set of disorders, she'll never be able to leave her computer again.


  1. Aw, honey. Sending hugs. I know you'll figure it all out. Just remember you're not alone, ok?