autism

I bet you didn’t know that “Where the Wild things Are” is about Autism.

Today I went looking for a book to help understand Casey. I’m amassing quite a special needs library. But today, I looked two shelves down to where the kids books are kept. I pulled out our worn and tattered copy of “Where the Wild Things Are.”Today a Children’s’ book taught me about autism.

where the wild things are wild rumpus, autism

In the book, grab your copy if you don’t remember, Max makes mischief (of one kind and another) so his mom sends him to his room without any supper. His room turns to a forest and a boat takes him to where the Wild Things live. Max is a wackjob, so he becomes King of the Wild Things. And they have a Wild Rumpus.

So how is this about Casey? Well, Casey is Max. He’s wild. And every once in a while a forest grows in his room and a boat takes him to where the Wild Things Are.  At least, I hope that’s where he goes when we can’t get to him. A place where he is king and can be as wild as he wants, or even needs, to be.

He has these cycles where he’s so hard. He makes mischief. He pulls hair and spits in faces. The autism seems to tighten its grasp around him. Where we lose the real Casey for a time. This time, he’s been gone for a lot longer than usual. It reminds me of when he was four. His entire fourth year was something of a nightmare. He’d rage for hours every single day. He’d throw chairs. He’s punch. He’d bite. He’s back there now, but now he’s about twice the size. It’s so hard to see him struggle so much. It’s like it pulls at my heartstrings and then takes all of my guts with it. The hardest part is knowing that Casey doesn’t want to feel this way. That he doesn’t want to be terrible or mean. I know that under the wolf suit of autism, there’s a sweet boy who loves with his entire being. The boy that crawls into bed with me in the morning and waits for me to open my eyes. When I do, his face is two inches away from mine, he says “so much” and kisses my eyeball then runs out of the room.
max at end of where the wild things are
At the end of the book, Max gets lonely and wants to be where “someone loved him best of all.” So he gets in his boat and the Wild Things get mad. They want him to stay. But Max chooses to leave and go home where his supper is waiting for him.

I hope Casey will come back soon to where he’s loved best of all. I hope that soon, whatever grip autism seems to have on him will loosen, and he’ll be able to leave the Wild Rumpus. Even if only for a little while.

17 thoughts on “I bet you didn’t know that “Where the Wild things Are” is about Autism.

  1. It is good to hear your insight and optimism. Your kids are so blessed to have you! I really hope that Casey comes back soon! I know that the difficult behavior we experience doesn't even compare, but it is still really hard! The last few days I serously don't even know what to do. And the spitting thing, it came back last week to our house. I may go crazy!

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  2. Oh. That made me cry. A lot. I hope he comes back soon, too. You know that at the end of the book, when Max comes back his supper is waiting for him, still hot? That's cause Max had a great Mama watching and waiting for him to get done with his wild rumpus and come home. Casey has a mom like that too.

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  3. I love this. I'm sorry he is "lost" in the Autism right now. I'm sure it can't be easy. I wanted to tell you that when i stopped by (and didn't see you) he came and gave me a hug at the door and reminded me about the planets we talked about last time. I love that boy and hope he returns soon!

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  4. Oh man. That was good stuff, Lexi. Good and heartbreaking. He's lucky to have you waiting for him to come back. I'm glad you get to hear him say "so much" before he kisses your eyeballs. I know you need that.

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  5. It's been a while since my son has been in the dark place of raging all day…he's learning to manage himself now. Your analogy of running with the wild ones and going on a wild rumpus…well, I just can't say true it rings. Thank you for that. It's a much kinder way for my heart to remember those days. You're a sharp cookie!

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  6. I can see why this is a favorite of yours. I have not experienced autism. At all, but you gave me such a glimpse into your world, and I thank you for that. For the record, I totally think you should spam away!! What you have to offer is valid and very well written!! Spread the word!

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  7. Lexi, I just stumbled upon your blog and can’t seem to get enough. Tears are rolling down my face, a new wave with each post. I am a mother of 2 boys that don’t have special needs, but still manage to send me on the emotional roller coaster of fantastically happy moments and right to the edge on the next moment. I don’t know how you do it. You are a great mom, you are a strong woman, you are real, and relatable. I admire your honest writing. I never subscribe to anything, but here I am. And I need your advice. How can I be a good aunt to a little guy that probably has autism?

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