Autistic Confessions – I Wanted to Wear a Leash

When I was a small girl, no older than 6, I begged my mother to get me a leash  (because I sometimes had an overpowering urge to run). She assumed, and told everyone, that I wanted to be a dog. She still tells the story incorrectly and I have never corrected her.

Woof.

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16 thoughts on “Autistic Confessions – I Wanted to Wear a Leash”

  1. Wow. To have those thoughts as a six year old (both about the leash and not telling your mom the real reason). While you are obviously incredibly strong, I wish no other child had to feel that way. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. As a six year old (and even now if anxious) I suffered from apraxia (not being able to make the words in my head come out, even if I clearly knew what I wanted to say. At six, it was more of a fear of getting lost than anything that made me ask for the leash. As she continued to poke fun at the fact that her human daughter wanted to grow up, shame made me unable to speak.

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  2. Parents have a hard time understanding children’s needs. I’m sorry you felt shamed I hope by learning as much as I can I can avoid shaming or causing anxiety in my two kids. What made you want to run? My daughter runs while out and could easily get lost. She hates a leash it doesn’t help but I’ve thought of this wrist tether. I’m just curious to what causes that need to run?

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    1. You know, I am not sure what causes the urge but I still get it. It seems to be almost fight or flight. I have a feeling that I “need to get out of here”. Perhaps it is anxiety or sensory related for me but you have to remember that all Aspies have unique sensory profiles, so its hard to say if the reasons will always be the same. I am sure sometimes I just ran to see things that interested me or caught my eye.

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      1. Interesting! My daughters I would guess is sensory related. Physical activity is what grounds her. She likes to be high up. She needs to climb. She’s got the most quiet easiest going demeanor but her sensory needs to be physically active are what fuels her need to run off. but Just a guess as a mom.
        Thank you for sharing your experience. 😊

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        1. Oh, you know what I get that TOO! Lol. It happens a lot when I have to work at the office. I have to get up and walk outdoors vigorously for about 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. Mostly I walk in brisk circles around the parking garage.

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  3. Back when my oldest was around 5 and my middle son was 3 we were in WalMart and we walked by those harness backpacks on the shelf. My oldest asked me what they were for. I told him they were harnesses so the child would wear the backpack part and the mama holds the tail so the child won’t lose their mama. (My mother had a very plain old fashioned one for my baby brother back when we lived in Alaska when he was 2yrs old.) He seemed okay with it and we started to move along. Well my middle son ran back, grabbed the puppy one off the shelf and put it in the cart. He wasn’t verbal at the time but I assumed he wanted it so he wouldn’t lose me. He wore it everyday after that until he started school. I know a lot of people judged me for it, but I would always share this story and then they were like, “Oh.” For him I believe it was a sense of security and safety by having it. Even if I had no idea why he wanted it I still would have told people it was for safety reasons. I’m sorry your mother didn’t go that route. No one can find fault in the safety of a child – or at least those that do are jerks.

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    1. I agree so much with your assessment above.

      Yeah but my mom didn’t want people to think there was and I QUOTE “something wrong with me”. She really did think she was protecting me. Sigh. Ignorance. :-/

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      1. Well it doesn’t help that in many social circles child safety harnesses are still frowned upon as cruel or some such nonsense. The sanctimonious parental competition and judgement that goes on is ridiculous. It’s like the moment you have a child is the moment you have opened yourself up for public scrutiny. People will say the nastiest things to parents – sometimes right in front of the children like they aren’t even there. 😦

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        1. Sad, but this is another reason I don’t think I could have a child – not to mention the reality that it is quite likely that I would have child on the spectrum. I am not sure I could handle it with my own needs for quiet and space. I was a handful to say the least.

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        1. Writing is my therapy. I dont have words in my head when I don’t write and it helps me when I need to verbally advocate for myself by building mental scripts. Yes almost 30 and still scripting. It doesn’t stop. 😉

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