It all started innocently enough. I found my adult son, who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum many years ago, in the laundry room. Not a typical destination for him, so I asked him what he was doing. “Laundry, what else!” he bellowed back. Well then, doing his laundry. Nice. What??????
Mystified, I phoned his father, my husband, and co-pilot in this life with autism. He too, mystified. Had to be just an isolated incident, we agreed. Random laundry washing, nothing to see here – moving along. Even though I wanted to make it a “teachable moment”, you know, give instructions on sorting, folding an putting away – decided not too. Didn’t want to scare him or give away ulterior motives. ‘Cause if he sensed I was giving him too many directives, I get the full “mule” effect.
A few days later, I realized that a pile of laundry to fold and put away was growing in my bedroom. Now, that’s not out of the ordinary. What was, however, my husband had not been responsible. Upon asking, he rolled his eyes and told me that the last time he was loading the washer our son thundered in and warned him “DO NOT WASTE ALL THE LAUNDRY SOAP!”
Big brother then stormed up to his younger brothers room and announced, loudly, very, very loudly, that his little brother ‘IS A COMPLETE SLOB!” adding “JUST LOOK AT ALL THIS LAUNDRY!”. Younger brother, stunned, had to beg big brother to leave it for him to do.
No such luck. Today I came home from work and every available piece of clothing, all the towels, bedding items and couch blankets are clean – and in a pile, on my bedroom floor. Thankfully I arrived home armed. I invested in the big bottle of laundry soap for the “Laundry Nazi”. He was so excited – cause it has the fabric softener included. Yes son, I suspected that would please you.
“Now, lets discuss folding tecniques….” ‘WHAT! WHY?!?!?!”
It’s gonna be a long lesson.