This is my son Colton. He is on the autism spectrum and has an Olympic worthy ability to find humor in the oddest things. Once he latches on to something funny he will randomly laugh aloud each time it plays in his head. Which is often. For days. Weeks. Months. I’ve seen it go on for years.
This is my son DJ. He has mitochondrial disease and is nonverbal. That should not be confused with quiet. He is the loudest nonverbal kid on the planet. He points, jabbers, yells in a language only he understands and has zero problem expressing his emotions. He has a very short fuse. The difference between emotional outbursts due to his disability and those from pure anger or frustration, is like the difference between a cloud covered night and one lit with the Batman signal.
This is them with their brother Dalton, dressed as a very bad Elvis. Too much to unpack there. Forward focus.
DJ’s emotional development is in the slow powder keg burning teen years. He wants what he wants and he wants it last week. He finds us imbeciles for our inability to predict his moods far in advance.
Steve and I parent as a unit. If he’s handling a problem I stay out of it. But as a Oh-no-you-did-not parent, If I must get involved, it’s on like Donkey Kong! Such was the case today.
DJ found a replay of Saturday’s Kentucky – Louisville basketball game. I’m one of those die hard, arrogant, UK fans that makes other teams dread playing us at Rupp Arena and their fans hate us. Big Blue Nation, I bleed blue and all that.
DJ, however, takes it to a whole new level. In particularly bad games, he stands in the middle of the floor screaming like a wild banshee and flinging anything he can get his hands on. Which gives anyone trying to make entry into his room a crash course in what it must feel like to stroll through a minefield.
This year our basketball program sucks because of this man.
Who should really read that book he wrote.
Somewhere between then and now, he added an option. Losing. Embarrassingly. We haven’t had a 1-6 season since 1911! NINETEEN ELEVEN!!! For the math strugglers, that’s a friggin’ 109 years! For DJ it’s motive.
I didn’t tell him about the game but he found it on ESPN. The boy just lost it. First came the screams. Then the hand biting. Next thing I knew, sounds of tornadic activity emanated from his room.
I go tearing up the stairs to yell at him for yelling. Because that’s how you do it, right? You just out yell them? Never mind. Don’t answer that. Back to the story.
Colton, entered the scene. I tried explaining to DJ. He got angrier. I confirmed his little emotions but warned him justification of emotions is not justifications of actions. DJ calmed a bit but continued mouthing off. Which prompted me to tell him not to be a hateful ass. Which prompted Colton’s asperger brain to commence laughter.
DJ and I look at Colton questioningly. Between laughter Colton says, “I’ve heard mean ass but not hateful ass. That sounds like something that should be in the Bible. ‘I smite thee for thy hateful ass!” DJ enthusiastically repeated in rapid succession one of three words he commands. Yeah!
I looked at them both, concluded I should start day drinking and left them to it.