It was a bit tense to get Devlin’s hair cut over the weekend. VVegaz Salon is about a half mile from my house. The sun was shining so the twins and I decided to walk to The Loop for his appointment. The entrance to our neighborhood abuts a moderately busy street which was unusually congested with traffic that afternoon. Devlin became fixated about walking on the other side of the street but there was no way to jay-walk safely with all the traffic. When I told him no, Devlin threw a three alarm autistic tirade on the sidewalk next to all the cars, and partially into the street. It took me fifteen minutes to calm him down.
In the meantime, dozens of strangers watched this disturbing scene in which I tried in vain to pick him up and carry him home. All the while Devlin flopped on the pavement and refused to get up, scraped the bejeebies out of the tops of his ankles, screamed, cried, kicked and hit me next to Blair dutifully holding my purse. I’m sure he looked feral. Several strangers screamed to me, but I wasn’t about to divert my attention away from Devlin to hear whatever shit they were shouting. I got the impression that several of them were encouraging me to beat him into submission. I’m ambivalent when these scenes happen. I can only imagine what they must look like to an outsider. By the same token, the last thing I need when I’m trying to contain a tantrum by a 58 pound boy is to have uninvolved people shouting unsolicited advice at me as if they have any fucking clue. We made it to the Salon, and Brandi gave him a beautiful haircut.
Trolling the web, I came across this menagerie of autism-themed t-shirts. No t-shirt would have served any useful purpose on the walk to the Salon. Most of the shirts simply enforce negative stereotypes people associate with autism. How about simply: Say Fuck if you have autism.
discipline does not cure autism
So many things wrong with this shirt. People aren’t “a little” autistic. It’s like being “a little” pregnant. Might as well say, “Beware! I’m going to flip-out!” which may be true, but do we really need to lead with that thought? I could’ve gone my whole life without the association of “ballistic” with “autistic”. Ugh.
discipline does not cure autism
I gasped when I saw this one. My son doesn’t happen to flap but it just seemed demeaning. Like saying, “I’m goopy when I’m poopy!” Again, children on the spectrum are completely varied. Besides, some kids flap when they’re anxious, not happy.
discipline does not cure autism
 Nice to tell people right off the bat, Fuck off! I have autism, mother fuckers!
discipline does not cure autism
Thanks for telling everyone how they are going to feel about you before you even have a chance to order a soda. And just for the record, it’s “person with autism”, not “autistic”.
You can say “autistic” when you’re talking about intangible things like “tirade” or “pickle”.
People with autism are not defined simply by their autism.
discipline does not cure autism
Alienation. Not exactly the recipe for understanding. Not that I don’t think completely mean thoughts about people who stare at me during an episode but just because you think something doesn’t mean you should say it. Fucking filters, people! Like my excellent filters to curtail my habit of cursing.
discipline does not cure autismNice. Further estrangement message. Not appreciating the negative messages here. It’s not all rainbows and puppies, but there is a lot of beautiful shit and unparalleled sweetness that goes along with autism. And guess what else? Not all people with autism have sensory issues or melt-downs.
discipline does not cure autismI’m not focused on a cure. I’m more interested in making the life of my son better now. He thinks differently. He’s not defective.
discipline does not cure autism

You know that rule about power point slides and billboard advertisements? If you have too much information on your slide or billboard, no one is going to read it. “And so, I was all like, what is going on with that boy? And she’s all like, ‘I have no idea.’ So we, you know, went around the block to get away from him because he was really screeching. And then someone said, ‘Who wants pie?’ And pie sounded, like, totally delicious, so we decided to stop and eat some pie.”

discipline does not cure autism

I have autism and I’m with Stupid. I have autism-You’re just stupid. Huh? Stupid is as stupid does.

discipline does not cure autism

Do you really want strangers to be afraid of your child? I admit some on the spectrum can be “busy”, but can you really ward off every contingency with a ridiculous t-shirt? WARNING! I may be bitchy when I’m PMS’ing. Really? Is this a newsflash to anyone?

discipline does not cure autism

Quick! The Zombie Autism Apocalypse is coming to your town! Run for cover! Seriously? This is the message we want to impart? You’re next, bitches!

discipline does not cure autism
 I actually sort of liked this one. Simple. Non-judgmental. Just the facts, ma’am.
discipline does not cure autism
Captain! I don’t know how much longer I can hold her together! Nuclear energy sign? Really? Agreed that one might characterize our little walk to the Salon as explosive, but the t-shirt wouldn’t have helped.
discipline does not cure autism
While true, it is again an alienating message. All people undergo stress. It’s called life. Fuck off!
And that’s all I have to say about that.