10. Eye glasses must be worn at all times in the house, outside, and otherwise. This is regardless of water usage, time of day, or amount of rough housing being done. However, if you have a hat; it is to be removed immediately upon arrival and is not to be put back on until you are outside.
9. There will be no singing in the car. It doesn’t matter if you are world-renowned, six time platinum, all around super singer of awesomeness; no singing in the car. If your favorite song comes on the radio; you will simply smile at its wonderful melody and harmonious tune and keep driving. Do not turn it up, do not hum, and whatever you do; do not sing!
8. There will be no cuddles after a boo boo. When Little Man falls and your parent heart falls into your toes and you wish to cuddle him; DO NOT! If there are slight hints of a tear, ignore it, and do not hold out your hands! If all out tears are falling and he looks at you with desperate questioning and sadness; do not cuddle him!
7. Clapping is to happen after every positive action, regardless of how many times the action has taken place. If the Little Man has put food in his mouth, via a fork; you will clap three times, but no more. If the Little Man claps, you will clap as well, but not longer than him. If he puts his toys away, you will recognize him with clapping. All claps must be accompanied with a smile, but no laughing! If the Little Man claps and you clap but then he stops and claps again; this does not cover the last set of claps and a new set of claps must take place. If you clap too loudly, your claps will be void and you shall have to start again with a lighter set of claps. However, if your claps are too light you must put more force behind your clapping and begin again.
6. Lights must remain in a “meh” setting with low wattage. If all of the lights are turned on at once downstairs; this creates too much attention towards the lights and may cause a strain in the Little Man’s neck. Therefore; one light is to e used downstairs and one light only. When upstairs in the bathroom, it is unavoidable that the light usage by bright, as this is the setting of the light. However, in the bedroom when it is bedtime, lights are to be kept low, in order to sooth the Little Man’s excitement from the day.
5. No Laughing! There will be no laughing of individuals that are not my spouse or my daughter. All other individuals may smile, but keep excitement down to an even level. The surprise outburst of happiness is too much for the Little Man and all accompanying sounds of happiness that come with a laugh are intolerable. This is especially true for Mama, who is not allowed to laugh at all or even hint towards a laugh. In order to save yourself from the screaming and embarrassment that comes with too much happiness, you may want to find a way to glue your lips in a downward frown. If, however, you are my daughter or my husband, you may laugh and smile as much as you like; as this does not seem to negatively affect the Little Man.
4. Do not change the routine! If you are even having a fleeting fancy of an idea of doing something out of the ordinary; DON’T! All routines must be kept the same, all schedules be kept in tip top shape. If you wish to do something fun and out of the ordinary, do it out of the Little Man’s view. That is, unless you are Mama; in which case, you are the routine, so make the routine fun and exciting.
3. Leave me alone! Now play with me! All attention will be given to the Little Man when he wants it, but not when he does not want it. He will flat out ignore you in his Autism world and you will be unable to reach him at that location. All calls, cuddles, words, or games must wait until he has come back to the world of the rest of us. If however, you are in the middle of something when he gets back, promptly give it up and pay attention to him. He does not come out of his world often and it is of the utmost importance that you spend this time with him.
2. Don’t even THINK about giving Mama a hug. This is an iron clad rule that will be met with physical separation and loud vocal rejection. The Mama is only to be hugged by the Little Man when he feels like it. All others are to watch and admire the Mama from afar, but not to engage with. Hugs and affection can be given to the Dada and the Sissy, but never to the Mama.
1. The most important rule to remember is: AGAIN! All fun activities will be played over and over again until you feel like your hands are going to fall off. If you enjoyed an activity before you started showing it to Little Man, you will hate it now after so much repetition. Balls will not be tossed once, but dozens of times. Blocks will be built and smashed down, ten times or more. puzzles are to be put together and undone so many times that the pieces are almost unrecognizable. Anything that can be spun will do so in a matter of hours, not minutes. Failure to comply with this rule will lead to screams, crying, and an overall meltdown of dogma in the house.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation
This is meant as a satirical list of behaviors that happen in this house. I am not making fun of my son or anyone else with Autism. It is to help show people without children with Autism, that even little things, like laughing, can be a challenge in our home. Children with Autism have a hard time with change, physical affection, recognizing emotions, and expressing themselves orally. Many things that people do on a day to day basis would be a miraculous thing in this house. I hope people that read this are left appreciating what they have, in whatever form they have it in. And remember not to take life too seriously.