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Making sense of autism (when there's no sense to be made)

Dominoes Order. You dream of it.   Limbs would be traded for it, and  life span would be bartered  if it could be known with any permanence. In the last few years, learning to stop striving for it has been a life lesson.  Because life is ever-changing, and unpredictable. Like dominoes falling haphazardly, circumstances cannot be controlled. 

Order is desired, but rarely found. Ducks do not walk in a row. Life is a mystery, and why becomes even more confusing.  Neuroses are a puzzle. Your need to make lists, carry out plans, and decide fates is strong. The need to organize the way things will be is overwhelming.  Self-constructed boxes line up neatly on the shelf, thank you. Yes, add more dominoes, if necessary. The need for knowledge, something to make sense of the pile of blocks you have been given..necessary.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is every day.  And that is what it is: DISORDER. It doesn’t live in boxes.  Boxes are created, and nothing fits in them.  And the things that do fit, never stay in the boxes for long.   The quirks of children; the faces of autism.  Those qualities that must be accepted, or die trying. A young daughter cannot play without singing. The noise level is constant. The only time she is quiet is when cuddling her or when she is asleep.  A son is constant in his need to discuss whatever his favorite subject is at the moment. Once you point it out to him, he can stop, but he will talk about it again, sooner rather than later. And then apologizes for forgetting the subject was done. If the phone rings, do not ask the oldest to answer it.  She can’t do the phone.  It’s a thing. If pushed, she will freeze and run from the room.  Tears may follow. Meltdowns are imminent.   Quirks.  They all have them.  Learning that no matter how much you want it changed it is what it is.

Dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder is a lot like setting up dominoes and hoping they stay upright.  If one is brushed, they may all fall. Once momentum kicks in, just keep going.  You think “This time we are getting somewhere, now it will work.”  Just when you think, Ah, life is categorized, and organized, just when you think you have a handle on it,  look behind  and find the pile of dominoes that you have been laboring to arrange.  There they are, on their sides, again..  Dead in the water. Wasted effort.

So once again, you labor to fix what looks to be a mess. To the untrained eye, they don’t seem to be set up in any sort of order.  But is that true?

Learning to modify your expectations is the key. Too close and the dominoes have no meaning.  But add some technique, will they become something else?  Maybe if you are careful, the pieces can be set up slowly.  Or maybe they can be organized according to color, or size, or pattern.  Not everything fits neatly in a box to await categorization and filing. Nope, there they go, falling again. Once the momentum is gained, there is no stopping it.

But sometimes, when you least expect it, a sort of magic happens. In the aftermath of chaos, and if the pieces fall just so, they reveal a bigger picture.  It isn’t instantaneous, and it doesn’t happen often.  Art is discovered.  “Life, it has beauty,” you think to yourself.  “It isn’t what you would have created, it doesn’t fit the standard definition of beauty. but still, it’s beautiful.”   And, you find that it really is.

In addition to dealing with emotional dominoes, Tina is also an avid juggler of life. You can see how she balances all of those balls (or drops them on her toes) at her home on the web, Send Chocolate Now! (and she really means that last part). Come connect on facebook or twitter, she loves social media.
photograph copyright source

this is an original post to the Orange County Moms Blog

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