Life, Autism, Disability, and More

Tag Archives: focus

grilled cheese sandwichI know, I know, it’s wrong to hate. And I know, I know, Chili’s had this huge publicity splurge when a “heroic” waitress fixed a cheeseburger for a little girl with autism. (Really? Heroic? By bringing the kid a new burger? I’d like to be a hero for swapping out a single meal…please don’t take that the wrong way – it was awesome of her to be understanding, but I just don’t think it quite qualifies as heroic…)

Now where was I?

Oh, yes.

I hate Chili’s.

I don’t suppose it’s actually their fault that I hate them.

Here’s the thing: on Sunday, we were grocery shopping. It’s a tight week for cash, so we were buying chili and Ritz crackers (I swear, they’re great together if you’ve never tried them), and Simon saw that we were buying chili. He heard us say “chili” multiple times.

And he decided that we were going to eat at Chili’s.

Even though we weren’t.

All day Sunday, Simon told us that we were going to Chili’s for dinner. We convinced him that we would do it later on in the week.

On Monday, Simon kept bringing it up. We agreed with him that, yes, we would go to Chili’s. We pointed out that he had gymnastics on Tuesday, so we would go to Chili’s on Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, Simon went to gymnastics. He told Robert, one of his coaches, that we were going to Chili’s for dinner. Robert didn’t know better. Robert agreed.

After gymnastics, I was treated to ear-splitting demands on going to Chili’s. Crying. Complaining. More crying. More complaining. Repetitious demands. It went on and on and on.

Eventually, we convinced him to wait for another day.

This morning, Patrick got Simon out of bed. Got Simon ready for school. Went over the day with him…

And Chili’s came back into the mix.

I’m about to go outside and wait for Simon’s bus.

It will be at least two hours before we to go Chili’s.

Wish me luck.

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april 12I know it’s only April, but I’ve already begun thinking about Simon’s birthday party. For a few reasons.

First, he’s going to be 13. Thirteen. A teenager. Oh dear god.

Second, we like to give him a good party because he likes it. While he doesn’t always seem to “get” birthdays (he will still tell you he’s 10 when you ask him how old he is), he likes to get presents. So planning a party – and setting up a quick Amazon wish list for him – is something that’s good to get done in advance.

Third, and final, he asked.

That’s the weirdest – and most important – part of it. Simon often starts focusing on the future, but it’s normally not a good kind of focus. It winds up being more like an obsession. He repeats it, he lets it upset him, he can’t let it go.

But in this case, he brought it up, saying that he wanted his birthday party. I asked him where he wanted it, and he told me, “Chuck E Cheese.” Because, as he has learned from all the commercials, Chuck E Cheese is where a kid can be a kid. So he loves going there, even if he doesn’t actually play most of the games. He much prefers to run in circles, see Chuck E when he comes out, and choose a prize.

Ah, prizes. When Simons hit the prize counter, we normally have anywhere from 500 to 1,500 tickets. Sometimes even more. Why? Because we will play the games and win the tickets (hey, it’s fun!), but then Simon looks at the prizes and picks something that costs 20 tickets, like a small orange spider. Then all those tickets roll over. Every once in a while, he picks something big, like a ball (anywhere from 200 to 1,000 tickets) or even a slinky (60 to 500 points).

Back to the topic at hand, though.

The party!

Simon asked for the party, and while he wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese since then, he hasn’t focused on it just being for a party. He hasn’t decided that he needs a party now now now.

That’s success for us. And him.

So we’ll be planning the party, and I’ll be setting up his Amazon wish list, and we’ll see (some of) you in June!