Our Autistic Life

As much as I’d like to focus my energy elsewhere I find that attention needs to be paid to my daughter’s obsessions and fears daily. Don’t get me wrong ~ I do enjoy all the weird little thoughts that tend to cross her brain ~ but I also worry that this pattern of losing one set of fears only to replace them with something shiny and new heralds a future full of difficulties she will never fully overcome. Her newest fear is of the Santa Ana’s. Yep, the wind.

Ok, admittedly, Autistics are very sensitive to the….well, everything. I could write out a long, long list of all the things that set their teeth on edge, but it wouldn’t do more than scratch the surface. The bottom line is that these kids worry and they worry pretty intensely.

So, the wind thing is new, but only in the way it’s evolved from a sudden and odd fear of tornados. I don’t know how or why that one developed, but now it’s evolved to include strong winds that come up suddenly and have her pushing to my side so much that I think she’s trying to climb inside me!

But, that fear ~ oddly not of earthquakes, which we get kind of a lot! ~ that fear is nothing compared to her obsession with death. I won’t ever argue that she’s been through a lot in her short life, but I cannot seem to get her past the death thing. Her dad died when she was a baby. My dad died several years ago. So, she now is obsessed not only with us “being the same!” as she words it, but with how and when people die. She’ll bring up my fathers death daily; asking me things like “Was he old?” , “Was he sick?”. She was keenly aware of Keith Olbermann’s father being ill and when he  did pass away she actually said ~ and this brought tears to my eyes! ~ “Poor Mr. Keith’s dad died. But, it’s ok because his dad is in heaven with my dad and my dad will take care of him.” What 6 year old would even think that way? I mean, talk about a sentiment that goes well beyond what one would expect from a tiny, tiny child!

Obviously, a kid who’s lost a parent will be sensitive to anyone else going through it, but for her ~ this little person still trying very hard to get a handle on emotions and what they mean ~ this obsessing about death can be hard to hear about every day. And, almost like clockwork today she began ~ “Mom, did your dad die because he was old?” , “Mom, was he sick or did he die in a hurricane like my dad?” , “Mom, is God dead?”. 

I bet that made you tired and you’re not even here!

So, I try to calm her fears and steer her away from morbid conversations. I think I’m getting pretty good at it, but just the same, I’ll be pouring a cocktail soon!


et cetera