Alex Was Diagnosed Last Year

He's not my son, but there were no support groups for "I have a cousin with autism and everyone in my family thinks he's a freak". Sorry about the sarcasm, but I'm so sick of hearing my mom and her friends gossiping about her sister's son "who has always been impossible" and that she "wasn't surprised".

Alex is eleven years old. He's a sweet kid, but as with most autists you need to know him before he shows you his good sides. He is a bit obsessive, and washes his hands more in one day than other people do in a week, and all his clothes are color-coordinated. If you tell him to do something, he'll take it as a solemn oath to see it through - painstakingly so. But that is if you get him to listen, and that takes time. He is so used to being given up on he doesn't see the point in trying.
Alex can be nasty sometimes. And even though he has a good grasp on etiquette, this doesn't extend to good manners. If he's at a garden party or a family dinner, for instance, he can test other people there by asking questions like: "Who's the fattest person in this room?" or "Is (nearby kid) dumber than me?" It's pretty obvious that he considers us inferior to him. And there are many people in our family and circles who do not meet his standards. I am one of them, because he hates gingers. Sometimes I'm not sure that's due to autism or lax upbringing.
For some reason, I feel drawn to Alex. I can't help but worry what his life will be like if he's dependent on a family like mine. I am more or less ostracized from them, as I support LGBT and also have a psychiatric diagnose. (They only know about the diagnose. My mom would have killed me if she found out I'm bisexual. She believes homosexuality to be a genetic flaw) I know that autistic people in general live more or less independent lives and have careers, but if he stays within the family for too long he'll be constantly reminded that he can't do normal things because he himself is not normal. When I was first diagnosed with depression, I said I still want to go back to work and that there were possibilities for me. Mom said that society in general does not want contributions from "different people", because we are "unreliable" and "we tax payers sign your checks anyway". I have never forgiven her for saying this. I'm not easily offended, and it takes a lot to rattle my cage. I don't listen to naysayers, but this is because I got away from the family early. Alex, on the other hand, shows no independence whatsoever, apart from on an emotional level. He's the youngest family member and I just hope he'll make it in life.
MargaretMcCormick MargaretMcCormick
26-30, F
3 Responses Jul 24, 2010

Alex needs you now more than ever, and it's a blessing that he has you now. Its sad to hear how your family reacts to Alex, and that they can't see his potential. It looks like to me that your the one person he can depend on. Keep working with him. Has Alex ever tried hoarse back riding. I take my autistic son, and he really enjoys it. He was afraid at first, but theres something about it that calms him.

Take your child to a place with little peoples and much anture and help him relax. Help him understand that mud i sgood too. Help him feal. Help him feal the wind, the sky, your love. HElp him smile.<br />
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Help him understand that the world is beoutifull.<br />
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A peacefull soul heals a sick body. And as much as you can, when you see your son, hug him with love. It will help him a lot :)<br />
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God be with you and may that your son will find his peace and cure !

Great that Alex has an ally in the family, MissT. I hope that at some point he appreciates you!<br />
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.... and sometimes you just have to forgive your parents for their limitations in thinking. Then move on ;)