Superman isn’t Autism…and Autism isn’t Superman

Superman is Superman. He is one of the happiest little boys that I have ever seen in my life. He is also my son.

Before Autism, he was my son, after Autism, he is still my son.

There is a never ending debate about curing and symptoms and gluten and all of the other crazy stuff that gets wrapped in with an autism diagnosis. Of course we have IEPs and we do whatever the hell we have to in order to make his life easier. But…that’s us, that’s me and the Superheroes’ Mommy. He doesn’t know that. He doesn’t see that. He sees the pile of stuffed animals that have to be grouped by type. He sees the little tykes farm set that he loves to play with.

HE IS NOT AUTISM. He wants to play, to have fun, just like his peers. His idea of fun may be a little different, but he deserves to be happy, he deserves to be a kid.

I kind of had an a-ha moment the other day. Since I’m not working retail and actually able to be home with the family during the holidays, the wife and I decided we would bake cookies from scratch with the Superheroes. When I say we went overboard, we went overboard. There are enough cookies to last months.

Anyway, Superman wasn’t loving it. He had his iPad watching Nick Jr. but was still out in the kitchen with the rest of us. Batman and Flash were having a blast shaping, rolling, and decorating cookies, you know…kid stuff.

Well, Superman wanted to help Daddy. His thought was to dump the bowl full of flour all over the place. Everywhere…I mean everywhere. Then, proceeded to spread as much out as humanly possible.

I thought, OH NO! What are you doing?!? Why’d you do that?!? Now we have to clean it up!!! Wait…you’re laughing your little super butt off. Not because you’re mischievous, but because you’re finally enjoying it!

Ok, Daddy can play along…woosh! Flour all over the place! In his hair, on my face, little hand-prints on my sweatshirt…everywhere. It took me a minute to realize, but he finally found a way to participate…other than eating a ridiculous amount of cookie dough.

He looked at what was in front of him and it worked. He laughed like crazy the whole time and was finally enjoying this family activity!

So often as parents, we see how hard autism is. I mean come on…meltdowns? I could go the rest of my life without seeing another one of those. But what happens at the end? What happens when he’s so exhausted and overcome that he doesn’t know which way is up? When he’s finally able to be consoled? When he’s just as confused and upset as you are?

We do what a parent is supposed to…we console. That’s what he is looking for at that moment. Does a meltdown make him a bad kid? Hell no!

He may not know that he was punching and kicking and biting and throwing himself all over the floor. He may not realize that he was completely inconsolable for the last half hour. All that he knows is that he needs his mommy or daddy.

Now, I get it, meltdowns come with autism, but my point is that he is still the same little boy that he is outside of it. He still needs to be comforted because he doesn’t know what just happened. It happened to him more than it happened to us. He has no clue how hard it was for us. He should never have to.

All that I’m really trying to say is that Autism sucks. We all know that.

As parents, we have to work really stinking hard to provide everything that our kids need. Sometimes that can wear us down. But, just like the cookies, when we take that step back, we might be able to step into their world for just a little bit.

We may be able to accept the fact that he was beaming at the toddler farm set (that we see as being for younger kids) in the store like it was the toy of the year. It might be the most fantastic thing that he’s ever seen. Or we might be able to understand that the missing animal…may just be that big of a deal. It’s his agenda, not mine.

I know that I’m not always the first person to change my perspective, but when I pull my head out of my butt and do it, my world changes.

His world is his world.

When he allows me to step into it, I better take advantage. I need to spend time with my son on his field. I always say that I would love to be inside his head for five minutes.

I’m finally seeing that he’s showing me how to do just that.

Written by, Tim Titus

Tim writes a blog called, The Superheroes’ Daddy. He and his wife have four boys, two of which are on the spectrum. We have Superman, a 5 year old who is non-verbal and has severe autism, Batman, his twin brother who is not on the spectrum, The Flash, a 16 year old with high functioning autism, and Green Lantern, a neurotypical 17 year old. We all have our quirks and our oddities, but that is what helps us come together. You can also follow their journey on Facebook.

Interested in writing for Finding Cooper’s Voice? LEARN MORE

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

0 comments
13 likes
Prev post: I Can’t Expect You to Understand AutismNext post: A T-Shirt Made Just For Me

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Me
About Me

Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

READ MORE

FindingCoopersVoice
Follow my YouTube Channel
Follow my YouTube Channel

When my son was first diagnosed with autism no one was talking about it. Autism was hidden. I vow to change that.
WATCH NOW

Most Popular
Sign up for Finding Cooper's Voice
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!