Wednesday, March 4, 2015


My family is an anxious one.  When my brother was about 10, his knees were hurting so badly he had to go see a specialist in LA (we lived in a small town in central California at the time).  I remember being confused at my parents' response when they got back.  I asked what was wrong, and they sort of . . . brushed it off.  Later, I learned from my grandfather that he had been so tense that his knees were literally being pulled apart by the tension in his leg muscles.  I don't think my brother actually got any treatment, though, other than maybe being told to try to relax.

Which is basically all you need to know about my family's attitude toward anxiety.  My brother, my wife, my mother, my uncle, and my grandfather all are (or were) extremely anxious.  The only one I've ever heard admit that it is a problem is my uncle, who is probably the most relaxed of the bunch. My mother, who is among the most anxious people I've ever met, denies that she even has anxiety. She just plans out every aspect of every potential activity for fun, I guess.

So I guess there's probably a reason why my son is extremely anxious, too.  Plus, he's on the spectrum, which. . . well, anecdotally, anxiety is very common for people on the spectrum.  One resource I found online appeared to place co-morbid disorders in the anxiety umbrella at upwards of 60% of autistic children. So chicken or egg?

Anyway, it's probably not uncommon for autism moms and dads to be where I was last Tuesday (give or take), chasing my boy as he bolted back to the house while I was trying to get him in the car for school. He does it at school, too - he runs for his "safe" places (thankfully his classroom, so far) when he's really stressed out, most often during transitions. 

Every morning is a new struggle.  I feel like a parenting ninja every time I drop him off at school. Today he ran upstairs as we were leaving, saying he had to go to the bathroom.  As I tried to cajole him off the toilet, his real motive came out.  "I'm going to be pooping until after school."

Deception is, thankfully, not his strong suit.

"I'm going to stay home with the babies today, daddy." 

No. No, you are not.

But I understand why you want to.  Change is scary as hell.


Nicole S said...

He's hilarious. I want to call in tomorrow and tell them I won't finish pooping til the workday is over.

AG said...

You should definitely try that!