September 27

Autism Anarchy & AA


I live with an anarchist. An autism anarchist. He drives me to drink and so AA has double meanings for me…

Well, maybe he’s not a full blown anarchist; I don’t think he’s really rebelling against his parents but he certainly doesn’t like anyone’s order but his own!

I think that one of the hardest things about being an autism parent is the ubiquitous autism anarchy which now is the rule of the land in my house.

As one example (of many), Kirby obsessively dumps all of his Thomas wood trains and other toys in a heap every morning. That’s how he likes his toys, all mixed together in one big heap. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t like his toys or that he doesn’t play with them, he does both. He just likes to keep them in one big heap on the floor spread out in about a five foot circle. The catch is…

…he likes this heap in front of my dresser.

I can’t get dressed on any given morning without a wound from stepping on, in, and around his heap of trains, tracks, and other various toy pieces.

While he happily scoops them all back into their bins every night before bed, just try to stop “the dump” that occurs each morning moments after his first waking breath. It’s impossible. The best NFL tackle in the world could not stop a rushing Kirby going for “the dump and run” each morning.

If you ask him, he’ll tell you that dumping is bad. But saying it and changing his behavior have no relationship in this world.

And that’s life with autism anarchy. Compulsions. Obsessions. Routines… Behaviors which are fundamentally opposed to the order that us “typical” folk try to impose and maintain. And so we accommodate and accommodate and accommodate.

I recognize that my order and Kirby’s are just different. One is no more or less “order” than the other. We just see things differently. That doesn’t make living with him any easier (ironically he doesn’t seem to mind my issues at all).

If only I could learn to live in the world as he wants to order it, I’d have a lot less stress. We’d both spend a lot less time butting heads and also re-ordering things back and forth – his way to mine, my way to his…again and again and again.

Hmmm…come to think of it why is he the anarchist here? Maybe it’s me? Maybe I’m the anarchist in his world…

Wow that’s a deep circular thought. I think that I need a drink. And we’re back to the double meaning of AA.


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