Having a Special Needs Child is a lot like Shooting Craps

I was talking to a fellow special needs parent yesterday while waiting for Jay to come out of school. I told her how pick up time is my least favorite part of the day. It’s not just because it means the house suddenly will be crazy with noise and chaos… although that sure does play into I am sure. No the real reason is because I sit there waiting with a horrible pit in my stomach to see if the kid had a good or crappy day. The teacher coming out to talk to me… well usually indicates CRAPPY!The mother I was talking with shook her head in agreement. She understands in a way that only a mom of a special needs child can possibly understand.

If you read my blog you know that I am big about analogies or metaphors. I have a new one for you.

Waiting for Jay at the end of the day is like playing the Casino Game Craps.

Now I am not a big gambler so I apologize ahead of time if I get some of these details of the game wrong, but from what I know about the game… there are many similarities. Here is what I mean.

The Craps table can be a confusing place for the newcomer, with so many betting spaces, a complicated layout, fast pace and with a language all of its own. Hmmm… sounds a bit like AUTISM- getting a diagnosis, dealing with insurance companies, therapists… your CHILD!

There is something called Casino Craps Etiquette. It is a rules book so to speak filled with dos and don’ts of the game.

Do make sure you know the rules of the game.
Don’t lean on the table.
Don’t criticize or comment on any bets made by other players, even if you know they are unwise or just plain stupid.
Don’t blow on the dice for good luck. (That can seem pretty gross to other players who may have to handle them after you.)
Do tip your dealer.

Kind of like a social story but for big kids with money to throw away!

The First roll of the dice is called the “Come Out Roll”. Everyone else sits around waiting. Well that is me, sitting there waiting for Jay to see if his day was a “7” or if he “crapped out”!

When all bets are down the shooter rolls the dice across the table so that it hits the wall on the opposite end. I wait to see if Jay hit any walls throughout his day, and if he did… which the odds are in the favor that he will, how did he handle hitting that wall.

Knowing the mathematical odds of the possible outcomes of the dice is the essence of the game. Gamers need to analyze their odds. Autism moms need to do the same thing.

“Let see, he had a good nights sleep, no problems getting ready for school, he actually smiled and kissed me goodbye when I dropped him off. The odds would seem to favor that he would have a great day!”

But unfortunately craps, like life in general, does not always work that way.

Thus the name of the game… CRAP!

But if it was a good day there is a pay off, the reward for all our hard work….that’s what keeps us coming back to the table to play again and again.

EDITOR”S NOTE: After posting this my cousin, who besides being a wonderful woman is also a wonderful special needs parent herself left a comment. You can read the whole comment below. It was so wonderful that I needed to add a portion of it to this original post! That ending in bold…is all hers! Thanks Nadeen!

3 thoughts on “Having a Special Needs Child is a lot like Shooting Craps

  1. You missed an important part of your analagy…..the pay off. If he did crap out then there is the fall out and the let down like in the game. But if it was a good day there is a pay off, the reward for all our hard work….and what keeps us coming back to the table to play again and again. One thing about the majority of special need kids………….they have big hearts, and those hugs, kisses, and I love yous are our winnings, and WHEN they succeed in the day…………that is our big pay out.

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