Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Take my advice…

with 9 comments

Recently a reader thanked me for my advice.  You’d think that it would have made me happy.  Instead, it makes me feel a little uncomfortable.  I didn’t mean to give advice!  I wanted to hit the delete button, but it was too late.  I’ve been trying to tell you about my experiences, and my feelings, but I’ve inadvertently been doling out advice at the same time.  I don’t intend to.  I do this in real life all the time.  A friend wants to talk about their problem and before I know it I’m telling them what to do and how to fix it.  It is like ordering a burger and getting gherkins on it when you just can’t stomach pickles (unless you’re pregnant).  It is annoying, and perhaps even insulting.  What makes me feel the need to do that?  Like I have everything figured out, and you just weren’t smart enough to do it yourself?  Sorry.

It is worth repeating, sorry.  I don’t have everything figured out at all. I don’t have all the answers, I haven’t even finished asking all the questions.  Even when I find a strategy that works with Pudding, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it will work or her brother, nor any other child on the spectrum.  In fact sometimes that successful strategy won’t work with her on a different occasion.  I might even change my mind about how to approach a situation.  I sometimes smile when people suggest that I’m the expert on my children.  Not even. I imagine I’ll go the rest of my life trying to figure them out, and I shan’t be surprised if I die trying!  The value in reading my approach to problems might be better as a cautionary tale.

I do like to help people, though  I just might go a little far in that.  Sometimes somebody references a situation that sounds exactly like something I’ve experienced, and I think that sharing my take will help.  We’re all different though, and what seems so familiar to me might have entirely different dynamics going on.  My brain accepts this, but my mouth (or typing fingers!) seem to work independently.

When you learn your child has special needs, it makes you incredibly vulnerable.  Other people seem to have things figured out, hold information you desperately seek.  I’m still seeking.  I’m the one who needs advice, I definitely need to stop dishing it out!  My coordinator at Early Intervention described me as a “veteran” because we went through the process with Pudding, and navigating it with Cubby is easier.  Yet they are different kids, with different needs, and perhaps a different diagnosis at some point.  Really I’m just a rookie in all this.  I’m on the other side.  I live for your advice.  If anyone else has dealt with kids in any way like my pair, I have to know your secrets!  I’m grateful to my bunch of fellow mama bloggers who are true veterans, able to share their stories without a side of something else.  They share what they learned in the trenches, making it easier for the next set of troops.  I find that when I ask for advice, they are the best to turn to.  I need to adopt a little more finesse, just like they do.

Until then, because I absolutely can’t help myself: here is one last piece of advice I want to give you from my favourite TV Aspie, Sheldon Cooper:

Sheldon: Would you like some advice?

Leonard: Sure, why not?

Sheldon: Well, then this is the perfect time to start a blog with an interactive comments section.

“The Hofstadter Isotope.” The Big Bang Theory 13 April 2009 (Season 2, Episode 20)

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 21, 2010 at 6:59 am

9 Responses

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  1. Hee hee, I LOVED that episode!!!

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! I have learnt HEAPS from reading your blog and my eldest aspie is 10.5 yrs old!

    Like you said : every child is different, therefore what works for one might not work for another…but most mum’s I know will take on any advice to see if it works for them. I say keep doling it out! I’m sure you know HEAPS about things that I don’t and vice versa 🙂


    September 21, 2010 at 7:21 am

    • I’m going to try really, really hard not to dole it out, but I have a feeling I won’t be able to help myself! Maybe it could serve as a future apology. I’m learning all I can from you, and the rest of our little group. So glad we have blogs- what did people do before them?
      And yes, I love Sheldon. I have very strong maternal feelings towards him. I’d love to hug him, but i know he wouldn’t enjoy that! 🙂


      September 21, 2010 at 7:30 am

  2. I agree with Fi. Sharing our experiences is what gets us all through this in one piece. I think if someone tries something based on you sharing your experience, they go into it with the knowledge that it may not be the right fit for them.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, indeed. 🙂


    September 21, 2010 at 8:27 am

    • Thanks Laura. I feel like I should just put the caveat out there. I don’t want to do any harm, there are already enough sharks out there preying on our insecurities.


      September 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm

  3. First of all, that comment on that episode made me laugh laugh laugh…

    and I agree with the smart ladies above. I have learned so much from you. it doesn’t even seem like advice, but it helps to hear what you’ve done – what we’ve all done – and learn from it. We’re all looking for solutions, experiments, anecdotes – anything to help. Don’t change a thing. I need this from you!! 🙂

    so on another note, do you think if they ever mention on the show that Sheldon has Asperger’s, it would no longer be funny to the general public? I mean, it’s CLEAR to those of us who know…I just wonder what would happen. Or if it would even be necessary. Just a thought.


    September 21, 2010 at 11:46 am

    • I need it from you too! Let’s all keep going, just tell me to shut up if I try to tell you what to do!

      I think there is a very good reason why they refuse to say it outright. If they did, they would open themselves up to people saying that they are mocking the syndrome, rather than the character. I don’t think so much because of the general public, but some of our community. You’d get some who like it because he is living an independent, self-reliant and successful life. You’d get others who’d say it wasn’t realistic of the experiences of the majority of individuals on the spectrum, or that they were poking fun at his disability. They’d be trying so very hard to be sensitive it would no longer be a comedy, or at least that character would be less funny. I find his lines to be very funny, and they do make it clear, but they won’t say it. At least until the series comes to an end. Bazinga!


      September 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm

  4. I think as an ASD parent (a very new one at that) hearing stories and things to try from other parents is so priceless. Reading blogs of other ASD and SPD moms and going to my support group has kept me going the past few months. To know there are others out there and to see that there are things that work for them and could possibly work for me. Every persons experience is different, but I think we all need each other to learn and get new ideas from. It takes a village…..


    September 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm

  5. If something you share here on your blog helps another person, it can only be a good thing. Thank you for all you share here, I appreciate your insight, ideas and approach you take with your children. I believe it is healthy to read about what other people are learning about/doing/trying. Sharing is a very valuable thing, I am all for it!

    Amy (DQ)

    September 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm

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