Sunday, October 19, 2014


I need advice. Preferably not theoretical advice, but legitimate, "what would you do" kind of advice.

I feel like up until this point, I've done pretty decent with this whole parenting thing. My kids are good people; they're respectful and well-behaved and follow directions pretty well in public. They eat a wide variety of vegetables and other foods, they don't ask for much in the way of toys. I figure that combination kind of means I'm doing something right, at least some of the time.

But as with all kids, as they get older, they go through phases and things change.  Right now, Anderson is going through changes.  He's done a complete 180; he's gone from not really wanting to engage strangers in conversations to talking their ears off. Now...please don't misunderstand. I'm glad he wants to talk to people, and that he's able to talk to communicate and all of that. But, it can be a bit...awkward. And I don't know what to do about it.

Case in point: our weekly mall excursion.  Yesterday, we went to the mall to do our chickensticks/elevator/escalator/Hollister combo. I've posted about it before, but Anderson loves to watch elevator videos. He has a favorite guy that we watch--interestingly enough, he's also on the spectrum. Like a lot of ASD kids, he watches the same videos over and over and he "echoes" them when he's playing elevators. Including when we are in public. At the mall. On busy weekends.  Saturday, we were waiting to ride the Macy's elevator.  Of course, as soon as we get there, five other people get in line to ride, too. We all get on what is one of the world's slowest elevators, and Anderson starts being Dieselducy.  He's saying all kinds of what can only be described as jibberish to the non-elevator educated.  Talking about fixtures and indicators and Dovers, pointing to things. The kids on the elevator look at Anderson, then at their mom, who is smiling but clearly befuddled. I let the family off first, and we follow--and I see the oldest girl in the family ask her mom what Anderson was doing. She wasn't rude; she was completely curious, and I don't blame her. It's definitely not something you see every day.

So this is where my question comes in. What would do you do? I am COMPLETELY comfortable with Anderson and his quirks, but I want everyone around us to be comfortable, too. In instances like those, do I tell people that he's on the spectrum--do I explain that he's imitating his favorite elevator videographer? Do I do what I've done up until this point and say nothing? Like I said, it doesn't bother ME, but I kind of feel this need for other people to "get it"--get what he's doing. I don't know...just something I've been thinking about. What would you do?

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