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10 More Autism Parenting Rules I Live By Every Day

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There are no two identical autistic individuals, even among identical twins (I can vouch for this personally). But there are similarities between parenting experiences. Here are 10 more autism “rules” with visual representations from some of my favorite TV shows and movies. Perhaps you can relate to some of these (see the first 10 “rules” here):

11. Autism parents may do anything to avoid a meltdown.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and when I see my kids struggling to keep it together, I’ll try and redirect them by making them laugh or diverting their attention to something else. It’s not always successful, but I’ve had more success than trying to “talk” them out of it.

On a side note, if I ever need a laugh, I just watch “Supernatural” gag reels!

Source: CW/ "Supernatural"
Source: CW/ “Supernatural”

12. You can’t relax because you never know when the school will call.

I’m fortunate that my children go to a private school for their learning differences. I occasionally get a call, but I know it’s nothing compared to what I would get if my kids were elsewhere.

Source: NBC/ "Grimm"
Source: NBC/ “Grimm”

13. If someone messes with one autism parent — they mess with many autism parents.

Most of the autism community online and in real life are pretty awesome. “The Walking Dead” is awesome, too.

Source: AMC/ "The Walking Dead"
Source: AMC/ “The Walking Dead”

14. If you do go out without your kids, you can’t relax and enjoy it.

It’s hard for me to just let go and relax. I guess that’s why there’s wine.

Source: ABC/ "Once Upon a Time"
Source: ABC/ “Once Upon a Time”

15. For every hundred foods you offer your child, they may actually eat one.

Food aversions are alive and well in my house. I never stop offering, but I also don’t let myself run out of preferred food items.

Sadly, my kids don’t appreciate “Gilligan’s Island” like I did when I was their age.

Source: "Gilligan's Island"
Source: “Gilligan’s Island”

16. Spontaneous hugs may not be tolerated.

When my twins were young, we heard the “they can’t be autistic, they’re too social” bit because they loved to sit on laps and be hugged. Yes, they were sensory seekers. Nowadays, they claim they’re too old to be hugged and are no longer cute. They’re almost 12 so I get that. I don’t want to get it, but I get it. They’re still cute, though.

I love this screenshot of Clara and the Twelfth Doctor. It captures the sentiment nicely.

Source: BBC/ "Doctor Who"
Source: BBC/ “Doctor Who”

17. You recognize that your child’s stimming is an important coping mechanism.

Stimming is a way of life in my house. It’s why I find toys in the pantry (stim item exchanged for food), socks scattered throughout the house (twirling and looking at with peripheral vision) and Legos on the floor (to provide sensory input through the feet).

Source: NBC/ "Miami Vice"

Source: NBC/ “Miami Vice”

18. Hearing someone say your child “doesn’t look autistic,” may cause your eyes to bug out.

It’s been a year since this comment has been made to me – a record!

Source: Paramount/ "Clueless"
Source: Paramount/ “Clueless”

19. If your child wants to bring his own comfort items on a trip, you will probably be bringing his comfort items with you on your trip.

With four kids anytime we go on a road trip, it’s a major production. Even 10-minute trips in the car lends itself to major negotiations over how many plushes they can bring.

Source: Sony/ "22 Jump Street"
Source: Sony/ “22 Jump Street”

20. When offering your child a new food, stealth observation may be preferable to direct observation.

I have to look like I’m busy when I’m trying to introduce a new food to my pickiest eater. If I am openly watching, he will reject it on the basis of smell alone.

I may or may not have hidden on some occasions like Sam and Dean Winchester.

Source: CW/ "Supernatural"
Source: CW/ “Supernatural”

Follow this journey on Autism Odysseys

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Originally published: December 10, 2015
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