Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Autism Diaries VII: When the home becomes the world, and the world, the home

I got my latest credit card statement the other day and I must say, I was shocked, shocked to discover a number of unauthorized charges for computer game downloads.

It seems J has memorized one of my credit card numbers, along with the security code.

I promptly closed out the account, informed J that he's taken care of his birthday presents, and subjected him to various consequences. I'll also call up the companies to see if they'll refund me, but if past experience is predictive, they'll laugh in my face. And I'll try to keep my wallet in a safer place from now on.

It's weird not to be able to let your guard down in your very own home.

Similarly weird is when members of your own extended family become like the world at large, giving you obvious or impractical autistic parenting advice that they think you haven't already thought of, or that they think is reasonable to ask of you.

"Why don't you teach him the Golden Rule," suggests a cousin. "Why don't you monitor his emails and Internet posts," suggests an uncle.

I've of course long grown tired of 24-7 monitoring, apologizing, etc.. I stay sane, rather, by thinking of autism not as a problem that is confined to specific families, but one that, like it or not, affects the entire world--up close and personal. Many people, sooner or later, will be touched by autistic person, whether or not they happen to live or work with him or her--whether at a restaurant, on a bus, or over the Internet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When our son with AS reached this age and started doing these types of things, we had him legally conserved. That way, he couldn't enter into binding contracts unless we signed them. Thank goodness--I don't know how many times we got slammed by phone companies who talked him into any number of things, for one. Hang in there!