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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Where I'm thinking too much again. I think.

"And when you call out his name, does he immediately respond by turning his head, or make eye contact?"

This was the innocent little question our maternal health nurse threw into the mix at Riley's one-year check up last month. But because I am familiar with Autism and it's signs (thanks to my cousin - hey R! Not that you're reading, but your sister is :) ) she wasn't going to slip that one by me.

"Since when do you do this screening for Autism so early?" I asked her.

She snorted slightly, secretly pleased, I think, to be outed. "Fairly recently" she admitted.

And to answer her, I said yes, yes, Riley does that fine. Which he does.



It depends.

For example, now at the park, he makes an immediate beeline for the duck pond and NO amount of calling, shouting etc on my part will stop him. I have to physically restrain him from slipping down the rocks which form a perimeter around the water. I pick him up and take him away but as soon as I place him back on the ground, he runs back.

Some days it's cute. I say something pat like, "Oh, it's his Piscean nature. He just loves the water so much" (which he does). Other days I throw up my hands and go, "Why do I even bother bringing him down here."

I guess he's just being a typical BOY. BOY BOY BOY, people have been saying to me in big, bold proclamations. And that may be. At home, he usually responds just fine and his ignoring me in public is just something I'm going to have to get used to because it's going to be happening for the next, oh, twenty or so years.

What I'm wondering is - who has boys that are just BOYS (big font)?? Hell, girls too. I won't discriminate. I'm not making light of serious, legitimate symptoms here either. It's just today, when there's so much ADHD and a variety of other such conditions (and a slight hysteria) I guess I just think too much about it.

I think.

Comments on "Where I'm thinking too much again. I think."


Blogger mcewen said ... (7:07 am) : 

I have two autistic boys and two typically developing girls. I have no idea what 'normal' boys do, but I do know that my girls get distracted and 'don't hear' too.
I think we all find that if we're really absorbed in something we can kind of tune a lot of stuff out.
Best wishes


Blogger Tracey said ... (10:28 am) : 

I think there's a lot of selective deafness going on with kids from a very young age! (Like a F*** you mum,I want to get in that pond, so I"ll just ignore you.)

From observations (and comparisons with my three girls) I am sure there's a genetic 'boy' gene (though I agree with you that it's not necessarily confined to boys. Sometimes I give thanks that I only had girls because I see some boys and think that I could never have coped with the frenetic activity.

Just, whatever you do, don't use 'he's just a boy' as an excuse for bad behaviour!! - and believe me, I've seen it and heard it!! I think there is a little bit of a tendency for some parents of boys to excuse behaviour that is really not appropriate or acceptable. (And shake their heads and go 'oh, he's such a boy!). There is one lot of friends that I refused to go back to ever visit again because their boy was a shocker - bashed into my kids... hit them with things...sheesh.
I've seen my sister discipline her boys pretty well (yes, they are prone to boyish hyperactivity), so I know you can raise boys to reasonable behaviours!!


Blogger Jamie said ... (12:50 pm) : 

I think about Autism all the time. I don't think it's our faults either, it is all over the media and medical talk lately, it is huge and it's everywhere. I understand the thinking too much about it.

My Kid OFTEN pretends she doesn't hear us. Usually the 1-2-3 stuff works but a lot of times it doesn't. She trances out quite a bit and sometimes there is just no stopping her, it is pretty embarrasing in public to reprimand her in front of everyone.

The hurting herself thing doesn't happen but the not listening thing most definitely does.

Hang in there! :)



Anonymous Sarah said ... (7:13 pm) : 

I have 2 boys (well 3 if you count my husband)and we call it "man ears" (when they DONT hear some things) and "man eyes" (when they cant see something in front of them). I think its pretty normal (ie...if you shout their name then follow it with the words ice-cream or treat or such...they hear instantly!!)


Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (1:24 pm) : 

Thanks all for your comments.

Sarah, "man ears" sounds good to me, and I aggree with T too that it can just as easily happen with girls.

Jamie, you recognised what I meant too, how the media shouts out symptoms and doom and gloom and it's hard not to take notice. Then, but, it is applicable to people too, like Mcewan. Wow, I don't know how you do it!


Anonymous kailani said ... (7:20 am) : 

I have 2 girls and I go through the same thing. I think they have selective hearing.

They sound like normal boys to me.

Thank you for sharing this with the Carnival of Family Life.


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