Can Autism Ever Be A Laughing Matter?

parents search diagnosis for a punchline

Can Autism Ever Be A Laughing Matter?

autism comedy

You know what they say about life giving you lemons... Well, it's one thing learning to accept—even celebrate—life with a child who has special needs. But is it possible to stare a disorder like autism in the face, and manage to laugh about it?

These days some parents are looking for more than a silver lining in a diagnosis; they're looking for a punchline. Thanks to a crash course in stand-up comedy, a bevy of moms and dads in Kansas took to the stage recently to raise funds for a camp.

Kids may say the darndest things. But when it comes to kids with autism, who by their very nature tend to miss social cues and nuances, the inappropriate and the cringe worthy can occasionally turn hilarious.

Like the Kansas parent who shares a boob story. Other parents laugh. Oh man, can they relate... Life is stressful and serious enough as it is. Laughter may be cheap, but it's their medicine—bittersweet, cathartic.

Over the years my son has provided me with a fair share of giggles, and I blogged blithely about his antics. Then he got his diagnosis.

Often it's unintentional. Like when he announces that his butt cheek is scratchy at the grocery store till. Or when he comes downstairs after his bath, one hand unselfconsciously on his prize, then insists on shaking hands with all the women in my book club! 

Much like Big Bang's Sheldon, my guy is just being his unique little self, running his own blunt commentary. But Sheldon is a fictional character, so that makes the humour forgivable. Or does it?

Is laughter at the child's expense ever OK if he doesn't get the joke? 


Image credit: Flickr/yosoynuts