Tuesday, May 4, 2010

best in show

Of course there are multiple awesome moments in the movie "Best in Show." There is one in particular that gets replayed in our house. The owner of the champion poodle talks to the down-home, North Carolina-born owner of a bloodhound. The poodle owner wants to intimidate the poor fellow by reminding him of the champion status of her dog, famously named Rhapsody in White. "Do you know Rhapsody in White?" she asks. "Well," the cowed man replies, not wanting to admit it it, "I do and I don't."

I often feel that Martin lives in a similar world to the bloodhound owner. He usually knows what's going on. (This is a big difference from a year or two ago when his language was so delayed that he often didn't know.) He can read many social situations that come up day to day. It's not that he can't go along, it's that he won't. Autistic kids are often so fixated on their own vision of how the world is, they simply cannot bend. They know the world expects it to be another way, but they cannot make themselves adjust to it.

In some ways, I admire this quality in Martin. Maybe it will keep him from experimenting with drugs or stone-washed jeans. Maybe it give him confidence in going his own way instead of an inner dread about prospective unpopularity. But I'm trying to get him to do things like stay out of the street and keep playdough out of his ears. I'm not the Man.

But I don't get to choose what Martin wants. While I appreciate the strength of his desires, I probably can't channel them. He might come home wearing stone-washed jeans some day. I might ask him, "Do you know how ridiculous those are?" And he might answer, "I do and I don't."


  1. Love it and don't :-)

    On the line of the stonewashed jeans...I wore a pair of old painting Jeans to Toni's school one day because I was doing a painting project there...a visiting teenager proclaimed my jeans cool and wanted a pair! I told her she had to paint a house...then her jeans would be that cool too...buying them that way was just silly! LOL

  2. Yes on plus side of older children with ASD not being swayed by peer pressure to do destructive things. I have two young adult children on the spectrum. Peer pressure has never been a worry of mine. Both moved away to college at younger ages than typical and I had and have not a moment's worry that either would experiment with drugs or alcohol. So there are some positive sides to treasure along with the challenges.