The Fear of an Autism “Incident”

I am not new to embarrassing situations. Teghan can display some odd behavior; sometimes controllable, often times not. That latter part is what makes me nervous. What behavior will it be?

Wait. What behavior WILL it be?

I asked Dave, “What’s the most embarrassing thing that Teghan has ever done? I mean, a time when you were truly made uncomfortable by her behavior?”

He couldn’t think of much. And neither could I.

Now, there are uncomfortable moments that come from having to explain to someone why she is acting the way she does, but that does not feel embarrassing. It’s more irritating than anything. Also, thanks to the fact that Teghan’s autism is somewhat obvious we don’t get stupid reactions based on assumptions that she is just spoiled (in-laws excluded).

And yes, we are extremely uncomfortable with having to watch her constantly, never feeling relaxed, and often having a terrible time with her at social gatherings. I would call it stressful. But hardly embarrassing.

The worst things we could come up with were instances of her stealing food off other people’s plates, dumping drinks out on purpose, putting her hands down her pants, chewing on other people’s belongings…. A little embarrassing, but given our circumstance it could be worse. People tend to be understanding.

So what am I afraid of? Is that it?

Like I mentioned before, I am not new to embarrassing situations. Dave has epilepsy. He had surgery for it in 2007, and I am happy to report that the surgery ruined our finances was successful. Although he has had a few seizures since, and still takes medication, he has not had a seizure in over two years.

What does this have to do with being embarrassed, you ask? Well, before that surgery he was having many seizures– often daily. Usually they were in his sleep, and I had the bruises to prove it. But once in a while he would put on a show right in the middle of the day. This went on for the first thirteen years I knew him, so I could usually see it coming.  Continue reading