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You Might be the Parent of an Autistic Child if.... Why keeping your sense of humor is important when having children with autism

 

One thing I have learned about having four children (two with autism) is to keep a sense of humor.  My humor may resemble that of grandpa style jokes (my father in law is a hoot!), but it is that silly sense of humor that keeps me sane!

Jeff Foxworthy always made me laugh with his famous “you might be a redneck: routines.  I’ve learned in life that things that might not be funny in the moment, will be a hilarious tomorrow.  Learning to live life with a laugh  instead of stress is the key to happiness & love.

So today I am going to write-up my version of “You Might be a Parent of an Autistic Child if” list.  Our humorous moments over the last decade of this parenting journey!

 You Might be the Parent of an Autistic Child if.... Why keeping your sense of humor is important when having children with autism

Your Might be a Parent of an Autistic Child if..

 

  • While at McDonald’s, you turned to find that a child has stripped down naked in the play ground only to then realize that is your child and her clothing is on the upper level of the playground
  • You know every train’s name from Thomas the Train that has ever existed
  • You know over 200 dinosaurs, how much the weighed, what they eat, and what time period the lived in
  • You have cooked chicken nuggets everyday for the last five years
  • You have visual schedules everywhere in your home
  • You have watched the same episode of Sheriff Callie at least 35 times this week
  • Your child’s wardrobe consists of only one color, no buttons, and no zippers
  • You have a swing and trampoline, inside your home as well as outside
  • You know how to strategically place food on a plate without it ever touching
  • Jumping is more common than walking
  • You have pinch marks all over your stomach because your child likes to “squeeze your belly” at least four times a day
  • Cheese puffs are considered a dairy
  • You can never put green beans on one childs plate while always having green beans on the other childs plate
  • Your child has a tablet of their own by age , just so you can go to the bathroom
  • There is never any toilet paper, but yet your child never uses it when needed
  • Nutella needs to come in lb jars
  • You have the principles cell number in your phone and he has yours in his phone
  • You see your childs specialist more than you see family
  • You dread answering the phone while the kids at school
  • You are pretty unsure what this thing called sleep is
  • Your calendar is more booked up than most doctors
  • embarrassing you is impossible
  • Your pharmacist knows you by name and makes sure to have red suckers available
  • When ever you use sarcasm or a funny phrase, you immediately explain what it means (even when talking to other adults who are not autistic and completely understand the sarcasm)
  • You have gone from saying everything three times in a row to learning to speak and then listen and wait.

 

Most Importantly, You Might be the Parent of an Autistic Child if..

 

  • You delight in the little things
  • Little achievements mean more to you than they would if your life was any different
  • You speak your child’s language, no matter how they communicate
  • You know the true meaning of love

 

Keeping your sense of humor

As you can see, keeping a sense of humor is such an important factor when you are the parent of an autistic child (or in our case, two).  The things that happen today, won’t be the same as those that happen five or ten years from now.

Sometimes, being the parent of an autistic child can feel isolating.  You have to change your world to make it their world and by doing so, isolate yourself from the outside world.  Thankfully, there are so many other parents in the same exact place as you.  They may not be in your own community, but you can easily find them online through Facebook groups.

Join us over on Facebook as we start a new group to connect with each other.  Where we will share experiences, ask questions, have a few great laughs, and most importantly build a community!  You can join us by clicking here

 

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Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families.  She is one of the head creators behind the #WeLoeveMoms campaign and is also featured in the "Amazing Moms" coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho.  She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.

23 Thoughts on “You Might be a Parent of an Autistic Child if…”

  • I LOVE this! I am a parent of Autistic kids and yes I can relate to nearly every one of that list! Especially the principle having my number and me having his!! Brilliant post, I am off to join your group on facebook!

  • My foster sister has autism and Williams syndrome and she exhibits some of these traits eg. only eating certain types of food. To this day she still only eats chicken dippers, wotsits and cheerios and a few other things but she has a limited taste palette. However agree it is important to rejoice in and celebrate the small achievements, because that will make them feel good.

  • Excellent post. As a teacher who has taught many Autistic children, you never quite know what you’re going to get each day, but they’re also the most loving, incredible humans. I agree, you have to keep your humour!

  • What a heartwarming roundup ? Thanks for sharing, and for reminding your readers that as parents, it’s important to appreciate the little things AND keep things lighthearted!

  • Lovely post. I don’t have any children yet but having four see,pls like a handful and yet you are able to juggle everything and keep a balance. Thumbs up for you and do keep that sense of humor!

  • Your post is the best I’ve read this week. Made me smile a million times over. I have a friend with an autistic son and know how challenging it can be and like you, she survives with humor. I especially loved “You have cooked chicken nuggets everyday for the last five years” Neither of my kids had autism and I swear chicken nuggest were all I cooked meal after meal after meal. x

  • This is such a beautiful post! I am going to strike out most of the points you’ve mentioned in the post even though I am not a parent of autistic child because even though every child is different, parents and their feelings/experience are the same. Good humor is everything!

  • I don’t have kids yet but I loved this post and knowing a few things about Autistic children. Raising children with special needs is definitely challenging, but yeah, keeping humour on is the best way to deal with it.

  • I love this post. Being a substitute teacher who works with autistic children has opened my eyes. You have your hands full momma, but what a beautiful blessing. ❤

  • The fact that you can find the good and humor is admirable and you’ll get through more things in life than the average person with that outlook. Everyone could stand to learn to see the humour in life. Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable part of your life.

  • I love this post so much! Your outlook on life is so beautiful and more people should be like you. One of my favorite post I’ve read!

  • These are pretty accurate and funny. I have Asperger’s myself.
    Unlike most other people with Asperger’s or other Autism Spectrum Disorders, I have always had a good sense of humor and the ability to understand jokes. When I was younver, I always loved telling jokes. Also, unlike most aspies, I am not good at Math and I hate it. I love Science. Never been good in Science classes, but, I love it. Especially Astronomy. All my life, I’ve been interested in Astronomy. I can’t name all the Dinosaurs, but, I understand a lot of complex things in outer Space.

    • Thanks David! I’m the same way, lol. Humor has always been a strong suit of mine and I absolutely despise math! I’ve always been a history buff with science being close behind.

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