Obsession and repetition are run-of-the-mill when you are raising a child on the spectrum, so is finding the hilarity through the days which prove to be most stressful. Laugher really is my best medicine. Our son Ryder was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when he was three years old. He currently obsesses over a tiny red BB which he calls, “Red Ball,” and his food of choice is definitely fries or pizza. During one particularly stressful day, I was able to find the humor in our predicament as the evening came to a close because it reminded me so much of the popular book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff.
If you give Ryder a large fry on the way to pick up dinner,
He is going to want a bottle of water to go with it.
When you hand him the bottle of water,
He spills a little on his shirt as he takes a drink and he becomes very upset.
So you give him the closest napkin available to wipe his shirt,
And as you are handing him the napkin, you realize what a grave mistake you have made.
The napkin is from Domino’s Pizza,
And when he sees the napkin, it makes him hungrier for pizza than for fries.
So he drops the fries and begins to persistently holler for pizza,
And you comply with his request since pizza seems healthier than fries.
As you turn the car around toward Domino’s Pizza,
Ryder drops his Red Ball in the car seat, so he begins to cry and scream with frustration.
You quickly pull over to the closest parking lot which happens to be an automatic car wash.
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As you jump out of your car to search for Red Ball, Ryder is still crying,
But his attention has been diverted toward the automatic car wash
And he forgets about Red Ball long enough to tell you he wants “wet car.”
You figure a car wash will cheer him up and stop the ringing in your ears.
Besides, your car is disgusting anyhow and could really use a good cleaning,
So you pull up to the automatic car wash and pay, then enter.
As you sit in the car wash the soap and water are whirling all around the car,
The water and soap make Ryder want a bath,
And he tells you, “Home, hot bath” as you exit the car wash.
You have a terrible headache by now, so you gladly turn toward the road to your house.
When you finally get back to the house,
The family is eagerly waiting to see what you have brought home for dinner,
Only you have forgotten about getting dinner, so you have nothing to say,
But hearing the family ask for dinner reminds Ryder that he is hungry.
He asks for fries,
Of course, as you get back into the car to go get a large fry,
You know he will want a bottle of water to go with it.
(Inpired by the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie)
This article was featured in Issue 76 – Raising A Child with Autism