This isn't about autism. This is about autism. There was a time when I didn't know what to do for my daughter, and so I did nothing. I had too many avenues to explore so I explored none. I had too many behaviors to address and so I addressed none. And then I sort of surfaced from the funk I was in and started getting involved as her parent. I may not have known which decision was the right one, but I did my best to figure that out, and then I made that decision; I explored that avenue; I addressed that behavior. I'm not looking for kudos for that, but I wanted to sort of frame the post I'm writing with that as the backdrop. Because ever since I started getting involved as her parent, and going to meetings and participating in IEP's and attending therapies or specialist visits or blogging, autism has become the single most discussed topic in our home. And sometimes you need to take a break from autism (the topic, I mean). There are times when I look at my wife across the table and am at a loss as to what to say to her that isn't autism-related. And that's not healthy for a marriage. And it isn't "autism's fault", it's mine as her husband for having let ANY topic derail the flow of my relationship with my wife, man to woman, instead of just father of autistic child to mother of autistic child. So it might be easy to "blame" autism, but I blame me. We can talk about other things. We share so many interests. She's so bright and organized in her thinking, she takes my scattered thoughts and listens to me ramble them out then straightens them and organizes them and replies to them without the extra distractions...which is also why she's such a pain in the ass to fight with. We are, as we've said to each other since we started dating, "A good fit." She takes the disorder and chaos that is me, processes it, smooths it and it ends up coming out the other side in a clean tidy bundle. I daresay I'm not the only autism parent who has trouble taking a break from autism (the topic, I mean) long enough to look across the table and remember why he fell in love with his wife. Valentine's Day may be the "Hallmark holiday" that detractors claim it is, but it's also a spectacular arbitrary start date to look across the table at your wife and tell her, quite apart from her handling of her autism parenting duties that you love her. And that you "still fit". I love you, Leslie! (Don't you wish you had a blog now? This totally counts as my card.)
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