Finding Ourselves on the Autism Spectrum

Posts tagged ‘spectrum’

What's in a Name? (short)

For anyone who has read any of my other posts, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t shared the names of my family members.  This is a pretty new venture for me, and while they are being supportive enough, I’m not at a point at which I want to go any further in invading their privacy.  I ran through way too many pseudonym possibilities in my head, because I get fixated on this sort of thing.  I could have used initials, or middle names, or the names of fictional characters.  I kept trying to come up with things in sets of threes.  The Three Stooges immediately came to mind, since I have three boys, and their behavior often makes me feel like I’m in one of those movies.  But I don’t actually care for the Stooges, and it’s my blog.

The Three Musketeers’ names sound a bit too formal.  And my favorite naming of threes – “”Hi, I’m Larry; this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl” – would just be confusing 🙂  I didn’t want the kids deciding to check this out later and getting all bothered by anything after the fact, so I ran some ideas by them, and they have agreed (with varying degrees of enthusiasm/reluctance –  that  they will live with occasionally being referred to as Simon, Alvin, and Theodore.

Here’s a wiki description of the originals: “Alvin, the mischievous troublemaker, who quickly became the star of the group; Simon, the tall intellectual; and Theodore, the chubby, impressionable one.”  So my kids don’t entirely match up –  even aside from not actually being animated rodents.  But my Simon is tall and very brainy (he’s also my guy on the spectrum); my Alvin is the guy who goes around stirring up trouble, is musical and likes to perform; and my Theodore still has those chubby little boy cheeks and likes to ask questions and follow in the footsteps of his big brothers.  Anyway, for now it works for me.

I can’t really call my husband Dave, in keeping with the theme, because I have a sibling by that name, and it would just be weird. So until I come up with something acceptable, he can just be Hubby.  It’s not that interesting, but I think he’ll prefer that to Captain Tightwad, which is the only other name that keeps popping into my head with any regularity 🙂  That’s not very nice, is it?  Still, it’s my blog.

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Hi.  I’m Diane, and I’m a stay-at-home wife and mother of three boys.  My oldest is an Aspie, and I’ve recently come to believe that I am, too.  The rest of the family would probably be considered neurotypical, although they, too, have their issues.

I promised my middle son I’d give this title to my first blog post, since he came up with it himself.  He’s bright and creative and great at brainstorming.  For anyone who doesn’t know the reference of either the title of this blog or the post itself, they’re both from a book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that’s a big favorite in our home.  I first read this book and the rest of the series back when I was in high school, and later I found myself saying “don’t panic” almost automatically to my firstborn baby boy each time he would go into a conniption upon experiencing some form of discomfort, which turned out to be a great deal of the time.  Little did I know then how that phrase would come to define our approach to life here on the Autism Spectrum.

The main character in the Hitchhiker’s book is called Arthur Dent, and early on in the story he finds himself out in space with no familiar frame of reference and relying on one good friend and an electronic archive of information compiled by all sorts of people to help him navigate his way through the unfamiliar challenges he’s facing.   The more I think about it, this is sounding very much like my experience since becoming aware of my oldest son’s position on the spectrum, and later, of what I believe to be my own position there.  My closest friend is my husband, who shares this adventure with me every day, and I’ve also gotten  much information, help, and support from the articles and blogs I’ve been able to access through the Internet.  I’ve broadened my horizons even more in commenting on other people’s blogs and articles when I’ve felt inspired to do so and in hearing what they have to say in return.  After years of isolation and confusion, I can finally communicate with people who are living through experiences similar to my own or at least as colorful.  

I was so pleased to find a blog theme full of color and actually called “Spectrum” when I started searching this morning.  Seems like a perfect fit, plus it keeps me from having to obsess over trying to choose from among too many other possibilities, which I could do for a ridiculously long time.  It’s one of the “spectrummy” things about me. More on that later.

(I got “spectrummy” from “Spectrummy Mummy’s Blog” and want to go ahead and give her credit, since it’s a word I like and find myself using a lot.)

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