40 Tweets About Autism

 I’ll be honest. I hate writing about autism. I wish I could tell you the experience has brought wonderful things into our lives but it has not.
It has sucked a big fattie.
I didn’t have blogging as a release fourteen years ago when my son was diagnosed. I kept it all inside until recently when I realized there’s more room (and love/support) outside of me than in.
Because it is extremely draining for me to write at length about our experiences with autism, I began to Tweet about it instead. For you non-Twitterers, you only have 140 characters for each message so you have to be concise and creative. I can do that without sending myself into an emotional tailspin.
Here are 40 of my Tweets about autism. Auti is my son with autism and Tippy is my “neuro-typical daughter.

1. Little Tippy: “Why do you spend so much time with Auti?” Me: “He needs my help”. Tippy: “I need you too. You forgot about me. 

2. At age 6, non-verbal Auti colored the walls w/markers. I was going to fuss then a miracle happened. He said “Mama” for the first time.

3. One  parent went to Tippy’s recitals, plays, etc. while the other stayed home w/Auti. Tippy rarely had the support of both at the same time.

4. Public Enemy #1: Video game co. releasing game Auti desperately wants. How can he obsess about the release date if you keep changing it?
5. I have spent so many years putting on a happy face through the pain that I no longer know how to let go and cry.
6. In photos, you can see it in the far-away look in little Auti’s eyes : he is sad, scared, & lost. I can’t reach my baby. It’s devastating.
7. Auti: “I’m not obsessing about (insert obsession here). I just can’t stop thinking about it.”
8. I have lost countless jobs for being out w/Auti. It doesn’t matter. I don’t need career success. His success is reward enough.
 9. When Auti excelled in school, support was decreased. When he regressed without that support, it was added back. Rinse and repeat endlessly.
10. At an autism conference, we were told to teach our kids not to trust too easily. People may hurt you. Who has the “disability” then?
11. Stranger: “What’s wrong with him?” Me: “He has autism”. Stranger: “I heard they r smart . What’s his gift?” Me: “He loves unconditionally”.
12. Tippy has always wanted a “Father Knows Best”-type family. We are anything but that. She is angry at me for not providing that life for her.
13. Auti to minister after recent wedding: “I felt something in my chest. Is that love? I want that at my wedding!”
14.On the 14th anniversary of Auti’s diagnosis, I say to newbie parents “hang in there. It does get better. You CANNOT stop trying!”
15. (1998) Took Auti to see a top toxicologist re:chelation therapy for mercury. “You can’t get it out. It is wrapped around his brain” he said.
16. (1997) Excited about potential help via a GF/CF diet, I went food shopping for Auti. I cried in the aisles. There was nothing he could eat.
17. August 23, 1996: Received Autism Diagnosis and the heartbreak began. Joy took a long time to return.
18. March ’97: Mom “checks out” under the strain. Takes a long time but I found my way back eventually.
19. (’00) School Brd proposes removing special ed kids from schools and putting them in unused school so normal kids won’t have to use trailers.
20. (2007) On school bus, kids celebrate the end of school year by dumping shaving cream on Auti & terrorizing him. Bus is no longer an option.
21. Mom #1: Suzy wants to be a ballerina when she grows up. Mom #2: Billy wants to be a doctor when he grows up. Me: Will Autie ever grow up?
22. Surprised Auti at school & found him in In-School Detention. He was having trouble following in class so they sent him there to read a book.
23. In ’96, non-verbal Auti wandered into the woods. Called 911 for help. They did not understand “autistic” so I had to say he was “retarded”. 

24. I tried to give all I could to Tippy to try & soften the blows having a brother with autism brought to her life. I am afraid I failed…

25. You know you’re in an ASD household when your 6-year old..who’s just learned to talk..uses words like “hence”, “therefore”, & “actually”

26. Barber: “What do you think of your new haircut?” Auti (age 6): “I feel like a new man.”
27. Tippy is embarrassed by my lack of a real career. She doesn’t know I gave up a dream of teaching English when autism came into our lives.
28. Tippy: “Why did you cry so much when you were little?” Auti: “I didn’t know what else to say.”
29 I asked little Tippy why she was so mean to Auti: “If I am mean enough, maybe he will quit being weird and be like other children”.
30. Auti: “I want a son when I grow up. I will be a great dad!” Tippy: ” I don’t want children. They may have autism.”
31. At a Special Olympics event where most athletes were “lower-functioning” than Auti….”I am not normal & I am not like them. What am I?”
32. Since 6th grade, Auti has been bullied, shunned, & teased by his peers yet he looks forward to going to school & seeing his “friends” .
33. Auti: “Thanks for helping me with my autism stuff, Mom.” Tippy: “I am looking into my emancipation options”.
34. Auti: “Can we afford $6 for a magazine? Tippy: “I need $200 for caramel highlights. Stat.”
35. When I explained to Auti he had autism, he ran to the phone and called his grandmother. “Guess what? I’m AWESOMISTIC!!” Indeed u r!
36. After being on a GF/CF diet for six years, Auti had his first real ice cream at age 9 & announced “This is the best day of my life!”.
37. Conversation about teen drinking: Auti: “I”ll drink lots of Coke but no alcohol until I am 21.” Tippy: “Can this wait? I’m hungover”
38. Tippy: “My friends are so lame”. Auti: “I wish I had friends”.
39. Auti: “What kind of superhero are you, Mom?” Tippy: “What kind of dork are you, Mother?”
40. 2 chats this morning: Auti “The nuances of serendipity”. Tippy “Does this barrette make my head look big?”

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