Hi all. I am Cindy Szymonik, and I am the mom of two really great sons. A teen with VERY high functioning Asperger’s Syndrome, and an almost-teen with rather profound Autism. Over the years, I have kept a list in my head of some of their endearing (and maybe not so endearing) quirks. Now, we all have quirks. Kids who are not on the spectrum have some awesome quirks also. But some of the quirks displayed by those on the spectrum are worthy of note in the Guinness Book of World Records. If you are the parent of a quirk-meister and are idly wondering whether the quirks might be spectrum worthy, I submit the following for you to peruse:
You might be an Autism parent if…
1 – You get in a heated argument about whether wearing underwear is required when one is bowling
2 – You find yourself talking ‘aba talk’ to the cat/dog.
3 – You find yourself shopping for socks without absolutely no seams..
4 – You started crying because you can’t find your kid’s beloved white kitchen timer. And, NO, of COURSE the silver one won’t do.
5 – You have watched 4th of July fireworks on you tube on your phone in your child’s darkened bedroom. With sound off, of course.
6 – You’ve prayed to Jesus, Mary, and all the saints (or substitute preferred deity here) that no one turns on the hand dryer in a public bathroom while your kid is in there. That could get ugly.
7 – Your kid must have his toenails trimmed in a particular order, from which you may not deviate.
8 – Your kid refuses to eat the little pointy ends on his pizza slices, and has been known to hide them under the dining room table.
You might be an Aspergers parent if…
1 – You routinely have to look up words your 15-year-old uses casually in daily conversation in Wikipedia.
2 – You sweat over what your kid’s grade will be in gym, but have no worries in all other subjects.
3 – Your kid can create mathematical algorythms so complex that current computer technology cannot process them, but is baffled at what to do when he runs out of toothpaste.
4 – You find that Dungeons & Dragons meetings are held in the same reverence usually reserved for religious conclaves.
5 – You begin to notice that each opinion your child expresses is preceded by an intensely thoughtful look and the phrase ‘Meh….’.
6 – You are trying to teach him something new, and he gives you a pained look and asks “Must you really be so didactic about this?” (You may pause to look up the meaning of ‘didactic’ at this point before proceeding with his lesson.
7 – You find that your child is as skillful at debating his role in household chores as Johnny Cochran was at masterminding OJ’s acquittal in court.
You might be the parent of a child with autism or Asperger’s syndrome if your kids drive you a little batty, but somehow you can no longer imagine life without them.
When Cindy has some free time she likes to do volunteer work: sewing for Days for Girls International, and assisting at Historic Richmond and Full Circle Grief Center. She is an avid cat lover and enjoys pet sitting with her son Cole.