Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad


with 10 comments


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We walked into the waiting room, one the kids had never seen before.  Immediately they were overwhelmed with their need to explore, investigate, and touch everything.  I did my best to steer them away from things that shouldn’t be touched, but there were forms I had to complete.  Of course there was paperwork, there always is.

I lifted my head up to see a man removing Cubby from the cupboard below the fish tank, on the verge of sticking his fingers into the filter system.  Pudding was at the reception desk, pulling all the cards and pens out of their containers.

I rounded the kids up and steered them back into the chairs on either side of me.  Of course, mine were the only kids so overwhelmed in there, all the others were sitting patiently, their parents relaxing with magazines.  Enjoying a moment of quiet that is now being interrupted.  I know they don’t see special needs.  I know they see bad behaviour, and a mother who can’t control her kids.  Instead of the solidarity of strangers in a shared experience, it is undeniably us and them.

I try to distract the kids with books, but they resist my attempts.  They need to move, they need to touch.  I have some tricks in my bag, but I need to keep these for the actual appointment.  I have no idea how long the appointment will be, or how Pudding will take to having wires attached to her body.  Not well, I imagine.  I’m going to have to keep all my distractions for then.

They both go to look at the fish again, and Cubby has to go in the cupboard again.  I pull him away again, but I know he will just keep going and going back to it.  Pudding is humming and turning circles in the room.  Suddenly she stops as something catches her eye: “TV it’s a TV.  TV it’s a TV.  TV it’s a TV.” 

The receptionist looks at me for a moment.  She is trying to figure it out, why these kids are such a handful, why I can’t seem to get them to sit still like the other children in there.  What is with this family?  She tries to speak to Pudding first, then Cubby, but both ignore her.  Then she asks me if they’d like to see a movie on the TV.  Weighing up the need to make concessions for us, and disturb the peace of them.  She takes a chance on us.

Both kids immediately come to sit in their places.  The lady interprets this as consent, and Madagascar 2 begins to play.  She is still watching us.  I’m certain she is still trying to figure out if we’re rude, bad, or different.  Then Cubby looks right at her; we’re missing something, his routine is broken, and it must be rectified.  Oblivious to his innocent charm, he utters one sentence that wins the entire room over at once, making every adult laugh out loud:

“Where’s the popcorn?!

The atmosphere is lifted, Pudding and Cubby temporarily settled.  I complete the forms, eventually returning them to the smiling lady at the concession stand.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

July 14, 2011 at 7:55 am

10 Responses

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  1. I’m not sure I could love your kids anymore than I do right now. Almost as much as my own. Love this…
    now what happened at the appointment?


    July 14, 2011 at 8:23 am

    • Aww, thanks- I feel the same way about your boys. Weird how I feel I know them without having met them! The appointment was strangely easy. She initially resisted the stickers, but was fine “helping” the lady with the wires by making sure the right colour was in the right place. As soon as they were in place, she was trying to grab them, so I gave her a lollipop and by the time she’d unwrapped it, the EKG was done!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      July 14, 2011 at 8:57 am

  2. I adore this post! My son Jonah and I were at a wating room yesterday and I’m going to blog about the experience tonight. Unfortunately, we did not win the room over! Good for you!


    July 14, 2011 at 8:49 am

    • Oh, I’m sorry! There have been many, many times we didn’t either. It is like gambling- sooner or later we had to beat the odds. Please feel free to link to your post here. 🙂

      Spectrummy Mummy

      July 14, 2011 at 9:04 am

    • Maybe you might make arrangements in advance to be put in a room as soon as you arrive. This is a reasonable accomodation. When possible, I try to only make appts. first thing in the morning, or immediately when they reopen after lunch to minimize wait time.


      July 14, 2011 at 9:52 am

      • Yeah, we’re victims of running out of time here. I needed the first appointment. In fairness, they’d get into everything in the examination room anyway!

        Spectrummy Mummy

        July 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm

  3. Have been there so many times…. I think if that was me now (kiddos are now 22, 18 and 16) I would insist on “accomodations” by either asking that they email me the forms in advance… or tell them I need someone to write for me. 🙂 I think I’m bolder at self-advocacy now than I ever was. But as I’ve said before, as the kids get older, some behaviors disappear, some evolve, and new ones develop. We have to adapt too. The “bag of tricks” for the mom of special needs kids needs to be pretty huge. I will say that a Nintendo DS is a wonderful thing… even to this day (for the 16 year old)! My 22 year old doesn’t put down his Kindle. 🙂


    July 14, 2011 at 9:47 am

  4. Been there done that!! I can’t count the number of times I wish I had the nerve to hand out business cards with the famous saying “I’m not misbehaving, I have autism” to the entire room. Instead, I go crazy and dread appointments, and console myself with massive amounts of chocolate and coffee after 🙂


    July 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

  5. […] away in the only bit if shade we could find from the 99F heat.  When he returned after the concessions had been made, I informed him that he would stay in the waiting room while I went with Pudding.  […]

  6. […] July, we found that concessions could be a piece of cake…but it will only lead to feeling guilty.  Pudding had her last day […]

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