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Kristen headshot


Kristen is a home­maker, home­schooler, and a home­keeper. Her experience includes nineteen years of practice, raising three kids, a husband, and a dog. Writing about her life helps her stay sane. She believes that sharing stories helps others by providing opportunities to share advice (and helpful hints) about homeschooling, and raising kids on the autism spectrum, while supporting marriages and families that are striving to thrive.

Shannon headshot

Shannon Enos is a wife, recovering Pinterest addict, and homeschooling mom of two young girls. Her hobbies include analyzing music with her husband, pretending she’s going to finish that crocheting project she started 4 years ago, and making lists of things she has already completed just so she can cross them off. Shannon values truth, education, the arts, open minds, humor, and “Nashville" binges on Hulu. She believes that learning happens everywhere, whether you’re paying attention or not.

 

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I asked my son if he’d like to be a guest blogger on my blog and write about having autism.  He said, “ Sure.”
 
So, a few days later when I asked him to post it on Google docs, he was a little taken aback and told me he’d already blogged about having autism on his blog.  We have this “lost in translation” thing happen a lot.  After some discussion and persuasion he emailed me a copy of what is already on his blog.
 
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I'm going to edit the post and translate a little (the brackets are mine, and I cleaned up some grammatical things) because he writes like a serial killer: not a lot of punctuation, and many run-on sentences. He writes as if he is talking. In one long sentence.   He got an “A” in senior English last year before he graduated, so I know he can use grammar and spell-check, but for whatever reason he doesn't think it is important.  I do, but I'm not him.
 
From his perspective:
 
“This blog post is for my mom, for her blog, on what it’s like living with an Autistic child (although technically, I’ve been 19 since last week- happy birthday to me!). 
 
Which reminds me, I’m supposed to be at the Woodrow Wilson Workforce Center for 9 weeks (everyone: yes… don’t remind us! We don’t want you to leave) {These in-his-head-conversations happen all the time}.  Well, I have some good news for you, and bad news for me, because, now it’s been shortened to one week for a while because they are doing an evaluation, whatever that means.  Why can’t they just use simple non-fancy terms like:  We’re going to use this week to test your skills week, or if you’re in the government and don’t like mouthfuls but love acronyms:  W.G.T.U.T.W.T.T.Y.S.W.  Which is still a mouthful and a lot harder to remember!
 
Now, without further ado, let’s get back on topic. What’s life like having Autism {he always capitalizes autism}?  If you asked me this question a few years ago, it would be so uncommon it would be like seeing me actually understanding math, which is to say, as rare as a dinosaur, post meteorite {clarification: he is trying to illustrate how we have never asked him this before, and he has not understood math since about the fifth grade}.  Now, I am getting asked this question a lot by my family.  I have a theory that it’s because they’re used to having me around them, and they understand that I’m going to the Workforce Center, and they're thinking:  Wow, I wonder what the people who go there are like?  
 
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So, what’s it like for me?  Well, it makes a lot of things difficult- like doing math, eating slowly {he inhales his food- a little disturbing to watch}, doing simple chores {making the bed is a huge struggle, so is folding laundry, any work that requires detail, touching wet sponges, dirty dishes, etc}.  It also makes me better at things like: reading, martial history, history in general, knowledge of swords, fandoms, and classic rock song lyrics (which would make me awesome at karaoke if I had a good singing voice). 
 
It makes some sounds painful, like the "shh" sound when you tell someone to be quiet; when I was younger it was the word nose {it did cause actual pain- meltdown-type-pain}... I can hear colors, except for pitch black which is why I find darkness soothing {we did not find out he could hear colors until last year- it was by accident, I was reading aloud about synesthesia, and remarking that some people could actually hear colors.  He was like, "Doesn’t everybody? They make noise.You mean you don’t hear color?"}.  
 
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Autism makes me empathize with animals more than people {he has told me he would save an animal first before saving me, for example, in a house fire he’d get the dog and the chinchilla out before he could get to us humans. Hypothetical, of course}.  It also makes me do ticks, which are uncontrollable, I don’t realize I’m doing them, and I do them constantly.  My oldest… is flapping my hands; I do this when I’m excited, frustrated and when I’m thinking or having a really awesome daydream.  I don't know whether or not this has to do with my Autism, but when I dream, I know I'm in a dream because I can control my own personal gravity and levitate or descend which is strange because that's the only thing I can control in my dreams.  Otherwise my unconscious mind has total control of them and they're even more wild and unpredictable than my imagination which is huge and elaborate. I could theorize anything, like how Han Solo would survive being stabbed through a vital organ and fall off a bridge into the core of a planet that later exploded  (which he better have survived somehow or Disney I'm coming after you.) and how Sherlock faked his death.  I also can dream about modern day dreams involving me as a bad-to-the-bone sword master who can travel the multiverse and into fictional worlds (and those are some of my best daydreams, partly because they're how I wish my life would be.).
 
My Autism makes me love-obsess over things like: classic rock, groundhogs, swords, meteorite forged objects, knives, baby bats, fandoms (especially Doctor Who, Star wars, and Gotham), Time/multiverse travel, etc. and on the same level I have the same obsessions on the hate scale, of the love/hate obsessions for: Bolsheveiks, math, HOAs,  animal abusers, poachers, dog fighters, forced wearing of shoes {he hates shoes}, baseball caps being more popular than the much more awesome hats we wore pre 1970s {he has a vast collection of unusual hats}, revolutions, abolishment of monarchies, deforestation, etc.
 
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 My Autism makes me notice certain minor tiny details, but forget huge ones.  For example, I found an arrowhead, and a piece of amber with a bug in it on the Appalachian Trail, but I sometimes don't notice my fly is down, or that I didn't make my bed in the morning. 
 
All in all my Autism makes me different, makes me think differently than  most people, but it also makes me unique.  It is not a disease.   I disapprove of people calling it a DIS-order, because, while it makes everyday stuff difficult, it also makes me a creative and unique individual, and it’s been a part of me for as long as I can remember.  I can't imagine life without having it, because I haven't lived without it.
 
So there, that's my blog post for today! Oh wait, one other thing:   April besides, being my birthday month, is also, ironically, Autism Awareness month.   For more information on Autism go to Wikipedia to learn more.  And one last little detail before I get offline, and please note this, as this is important, what I described as having Autism for me is not what having Autism is for everybody who has autism. Each person's Autism is unique from another person’s  autism.”
 
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{Word.}
 
{Now, I am weepy in a handkerchief because his first week away on his own is approaching. That’s my baby boy!}
 
 
 
 

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