Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Funny stuff kids and teens with special needs say
"Ooool," said Max. I'd asked what he wanted me to put on top of his max 'n cheese. Usually, he says "Ehhh-uh" ("ketchup"), and I had no idea what "ooool" meant.
"Can you show me on the iPad?" I asked, wondering if the word was in his speech app.
"Nooooo," he said.
He gestured toward his mouth and down at the bowl of mac 'n cheese on the table. Then he wiped his mouth back and forth.
"Ohhh!" I said, laughing. "You put drool on your mac 'n cheese!"
Max cracked up and nodded. He has a habit of drooling, from the cerebral palsy. Max never used to notice or care; lately, he notices but still doesn't seem to care. "Wipe your mouth!" is a common refrain heard around our house. Max was joking with me about drool on his mac 'n cheese.
This isn't the sort of joke that would fly on David Letterman. I'd venture to say that few people in this world would find it at all amusing, and their names are Dave, Ellen, Max and Sabrina. You have to be a member of a very special club to get it.
While joking about special needs doesn't always go over well with other people, in the confines of our family it's OK and laugh-worthy. I thought it was rather awesome that Max was being self-depracating, too. "Child laughs at own drool" is not a milestone you'd read in any of the child development books, but it shows a certain level of cognition.
At times, we have to laugh about the things Max and our family deal with. It lightens life up, makes Serious Things seem less so. We are laughing with Max, of course, not at him. Sabrina actually does this dead-on impersonation of Max's speech that makes all of us giggle like crazy. Cruel? It might seem that way if you don't have a kid with special needs. But for us, this is a normal part of being a family; we good-naturedly make fun of each other. When Sabrina has a meltdown, as she's prone to do, Max has been known to get down on the floor and imitate her ridiculous flailing.
It would be abnormal if our family treated Max as if he were too fragile to tease.
I got to thinking about special needs humor yesterday, when a friend connected me with another special needs parent. Alison is mom to Zach, 15, who has autism. We were trading notes on holiday travel plans and she told me that one of her family's most "notorious" vacation stories is when they got on an airplane and Zach shouted "Oh, I have a bad feeling about this. I left my weapons at home!"
I could not stop laughing.
Oh, but Alison wasn't done. She proceeded to tell me about the time her family went to what she described as a "fancy-schmancy" restaurant. Zach started calling for her really loudly. When she asked him to lower his voice and tell her what he needed, Zach said, in a "not-so-inside" voice, "Mom, I left my penis in my blue pants." !!!
OK, so I know you guys must have some rather precious moments of special needs hilarity. Share! I think we could all use a laugh right about now, yes?
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 6:40 AM