If y'all have been reading this for more than this post, you'll know I have disabled kids. One of them profoundly so. I spend a lot of time and energy working at getting him accommodations to get by in the world. Special Education Assistants, IEPs (individual education plans), quieter showings of movies, disability day at the fair, getting through airport security, safety equipment, etc. We're in the process of trying to get him an autism support dog, and that'll mean a lot of places will have to accommodate his support dog.
And still yet, the hardest thing is food. Crackle is 9. He has the impulse control of a dog in a squirrel den. He is incapable of resisting yummy looking food. He either doesn't understand how sick it will make him, or is unable to resist despite the knowledge. He will take a cookie right out of a stranger's hand, and put it in his mouth. And I don't mean the stranger was offering it. I mean, it was the stranger's cookie, and she was going to eat it herself. He is ridiculously sensitive to gluten, corn, dairy, and a few other things. And that cookie would lay him out for a month. Not exaggerating. A month. The first week would be
I can't take him to church because there is food at every event and I can't keep him safe in that environment.
I can't take him to events with other autistic kids because every single one of them has "snacks" (i.e. crackers and cheese.)
I can't take him to the grocery store.
I can't take him to the playground unless no other kids are there.
I can't take him to a restaurant.
I can't sign him up for kids programs through the local rec centre. They ALL have snack breaks. Any lessons that are longer than 1 hour have a snack break. Even the 75 minute classes. WHY?!
I can't take him to other people's houses. Seriously, think about your home. Can you guarantee there are no crumbs? If so, you have no kids.
Now, obviously, I'm not asking for a gluten free world (though if global warming destroys the wheat crop forever, that'll be a happy side effect for me... JOKING. Chill.) I'm not asking for anyone to not let their kids eat at a playground. But how about one food free event per year at church? One food-free event with the autism kids. One. Just one. And really, do your kids HAVE to eat those fucking goldfish crackers in the library? The library? Since when is it okay to have food in the library? Ours has a sign up asking not to bring in peanuts. They refused to include gluten, dairy or corn. How about just don't bring in food?
And lastly, I'd like to be able to take him to my Mom's utterly pristine house. But my asswipe of a brother lives with her, and apparently, it's too much to ask for him not to drink beer or eat gluten for the few hours I'm there with Crackle for Nanna's birthday. Now, yes, beer doesn't have crumbs. But I gave him a chance. I let him drink it here at my house, and he left the can where Crackle could, and did, get it. I snatched it out of his hand when it was millimeters from his mouth. So he had his chance. How fucking selfish do you have to be to refuse to accommodate your own nephew for a few hours, so he doesn't get horrifically sick? It's mindboggling. Oh, and it's not like I'm asking this on game day, once a week, or anything. No. This will be our first time there in 6 years.
Some days, shit is easy. The heavens open up with nice strangers who smile at his noises, his movements, his socks and offer him rides on their boats or to pet their dog. Other days, I have to fight my own brother for the easiest thing ever. A few hours where he doesn't eat the things my son can't eat. It's just so frustrating.