“Mom, Can You Schedule a Colonoscopy for Me?” Snowplow Parenting and the Autistic

Now, let me give you some background: A person who needs a colonoscopy scheduled is usually around 50 years old. By that time, it’s a good bet their parent needs care themselves, if not already dead. That is often the problem with autistic people: their parents worry a lot about who will care for their child when they die. I’ve got a radical idea: why not prepare the autistic child to be capable of caring for themselves?  

Now, I know what you are saying: there are autistic people who still need 24-hour care. Perhaps you could teach and schedule somebody to trust with your child in that case…but I’m not talking about that case. I’m talking about an autistic person who can be taught to care for themselves. If you teach them to access community supports out there, and be their own advocate in a hateful and prejudiced world, you might not have to be the usual Snowplow Parent.  

I referenced Snowplow Parenting earlier, because it is common in parents of autistic children. Snowplow parenting is the parenting style that does everything for the child, moving all obstacles to success out of the way, like a snowplow. The trouble with that is, the child emerges into adult age unable to deal with obstacles themselves, needing the parent to care for them throughout their life, even when the parent needs care themselves. Now, many autistic adults have had to learn to “adult” as adults. That, my friends, is much harder to do than learning how to take care of yourself in childhood. You’ve heard the saying, “It is easier to raise a strong child than repair a broken adult,” right? It’s a saying for a reason.  

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In Case You Don’t Get It, I’m Pro Vaccine.

I had the chickenpox in fourth grade. 

I don’t even remember half of it, because I would sleep. I would itch, and pick at sores, and just be generally uncomfortable. I missed two weeks of school. I missed talking with my friends, too. Well, acquaintances. (It was hard for me to make friends.) And now I learn that the shingles virus is inside me? That I could get shingles?  The point is, I would never wish chicken pox on another person.  

When I heard that there was now a chicken poxvaccine, I was actually happy. Now, children do not have to experience itching, sores and fatigue, and shingles risk, to get strong against it.  

And now people want to give that safety up? Because autistic people like me exist? And they think the vaccines did it with no backup whatsoever besides their emotions? What is wrong with them?  

Of course, I did expect a few measles outbreaks would stem the tide. But so much measles! So much sickness! And those antivaxxers are stubborn as mules! 

Vaccinate your kids. You never know who isn’t.  

Why Fight the Label?

Well, a few things came up. The first was this picture. 

Here are a few others you might be familiar with:  

Freak, Nerd and Rape Victim 

Yes, even Rape Victim. Every autistic woman I know has been raped at one time or another, even myself. My own experience is in the gray area, because I only consented to avoid saying I was raped. But on to the point: Your child will get a LABEL anyway. Make sure it’s a label that actually gets help.  

Another was the latest episode of Mom. It’s February 21, 2019. The title character on Mom (Bonnie Plunkett) learned she had ADD. And she’s in her sixties. And she’s fighting being sober from various drugs (and alcohol; I lump it in among the others). She had said her life was harder without the diagnosis. I must say, my life was hard, but living without a label, a diagnosis, is harder. And why do you want that for your child?  

Don’t Blame Me For That Measles Outbreak!

My mother gave me all the available vaccines. And no, that’s not why I am autistic. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk reason. Now there are outbreaks all over Europe and the United States thanks to people not vaccinating their children. And I wonder if they are blaming the autistic people like me for it. I mean, after all, most of the people not vaccinating their children blame their children’s autism on it. So, even if I am not blamed outright, I wonder if I am blamed in secret.  

I guess I wonder if I am paranoid, because so many people want to see me “Cured,” aka essentially destroyed.  

Willful Ignorance Not Welcome Here

I know my last post might have been offensive. I just hope it did not drive everyone away.  

Just so you know, the last post is in no way an endorsement of Jenny McCarthy, the Queen of the Antivaxxers / Vaccine Blamers. I do not support or endorse her opinion. What I meant to say in my last post was that she was similar to the flat earthers, who have ignorant answers to support a ignorant notion, such as a flat earth or blaming vaccines for autism. I guess they have to learn they are wrong the hard way.

I never supported willful ignorance.

Queen of the Antivaxxers on Your TV – What Do You Do?


Now, I must admit something: I did go and watch The Masked Singer. Yes, the one with Jenny McCarthy as a judge. No, I do not think she’s the brightest crayon in the box. She did not even get the unmasked person right. I only wanted to see what the Twitter-fueled craziness was about. Honestly, it did involve me a little, but it did not seem too engaging. Honestly, I only enjoyed the Monster and the Peacock. Ask me privately if you want to continue further. I’m at cambriaj1977@hotmail.com if you’re interested. 

But this brings up a key issue for us autistic people in general: people will disagree with us, even in the face of cold hard facts. It’s kind of like flat earthers’ stubbornness into seeing whether the earth is flat or round, even though they accept the fact that Mars is round, because they see it with their own eyes. They will always have an answer for whatever facts you can have. For instance, the sun, according to them, is about the same size as the moon. Also, Antarctica is a wall that surrounds the earth. Why am I sputtering this nonsense? To remind you that ignorance is a choice, and some people will put their fingers in their ears and scream “LA LA LA LA LA….” to avoid being wrong and found out. 

This is very sad to say, but sometimes, you, the autistic in the know, must smile and grit your teeth, knowing that there are people who think things different from you. That does not make them right and you wrong. When the facts are revealed, they will get their just desserts.

Can an Autistic Person Change a Tire?

Why, yes, Karen, they can. While it’s not necessary for an autistic person to prove themselves this way, it’s a good skill to know.

I did not know if I could change a tire without help. Sure, I would start, but somebody (usually a man) would always help. While I appreciate the chivalry, it does not help in the knowledge department. Anyway, as of 6:15 this evening, I learned I could. From fixing the jack (took 2 tries), unscrewing the lug nuts, taking off the flat tire, putting the spare tire on, and reapplying the lug nuts… it was not too hard.  

You want to know what the hardest part was? Not the lug nuts. It was aligning the spare on the axle. But of course, it was getting dark, so maybe it is usually not as hard as it would have been in the daytime.  

Sometimes you’ve got to toot your own horn.