Monday, June 15, 2009

Neuro - Something

I was recently with a group of acquaintances and we were chatting about bugs. Some of us can't stand spiders, while others don't like mice and rodents. Some can't tolerate snakes and then, there are those who can't fathom having goldfish! These women were all characteristically "good moms", happily married, church-going, coupon clipping moms. Nothing obvious or apparently different stood out. Yet, it was as if each of them had some unrevealed childhood trauma (or something) that gave them such strong opinions about their little fears.
It was very interesting to listen to each person's phobias of bugs and animals that are so small, in comparison to us as humans. When Nicolas would shriek or freak out about an insect or bug, I used to ask him, "How big is that bug and how big are you?". It would give him a different perspective and then he would correct me about calling an insect or arachnid a bug.

Well, observing all these seemingly neurotypical women gladly and eagerly share about what creeps them out got me thinking... of course.

Why is it that we can accept each others' phobias and fears, within "acceptable reasonable norms" and not our kids'?
Is it because our kids are just that -- still children and developing? So, then I got thinking more about this and especially for women. Most of us went to college, got married and had kids. We had to learn to budget, buy groceries, plan and cook large meals, prepare for the holidays, entertain, balance checkbooks, invest in retirement accounts, pay off student loans, set aside money for baby and bridal showers, weddings, graduations, the laundromat, car repairs, etc. We learned by experience and some of us are still learning, if we're lucky. Some of us love to wrap gifts and others, we shove presents in gift bags with tissue. As adults, we seem to view our gifts, talents and personality traits as part of who we are - and perfectly acceptable. Or, we're considered creative or artistic is we change the decor of our homes frequently. And, if we're messy, we're labeled as "organizationally challenged"or if we're a neat freak - then we're a little OCD... and it's all acceptable in most of our society. Then we look at our kids and we judge, compare, label, criticize and some of us, sadly - even wish they weren't the way the are. What a bunch of garbage... I am guilty of judgment.

Aren't we all a little obsessive or quirky? Do I wish Nicolas didn't cry so much and scream? Yes - absolutely. But, I do have a different perspective of what's going on in his body and how it is affecting his brain, thus, affecting his behavior.

I don't even know if Hubs fully understands... and I often feel as if I am fighting (whatever it is that I am fighting) --- the battle alone. Or at least that's how it seems, at times. I am turning into the very person I used to be afraid of: some radical-hippy-organic-vegetable-eating-health-counscious-freak. And I like the word Neurodiversity. ((SMILE)) Crazy... Neurodiversity.

Is Nicolas autistic? Is it ADHD? What will he be like if and when we get his allergies under control?
Will we ever get him back to how he used to be? Will I ever know the answers to these questions? I dunno.

This week I am going to focus on acceptance and neurodiversity.

(noo.roh.di.VUR.suh.tee, -dy.VUR.suh.tee) n. The variety of non-debilitating neurological behaviors and abilities exhibited by the human race.

More later...

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