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From Big Daddy Autism: Driving Miss Victoria

Posted October 4, 2012 by F. Lewis Stark in Better Life
Flickr image by Jimmy_Joe

My son Griffin, possibly due to his autism, is so good at remembering places he has been that we’ve never had the need for a Sat Nav or GPS in either of our vehicles. Take him someplace once and he can get you back there again, even if it’s been three years since the last visit. Like his Nana’s place in Tampa. We go there but once a year, yet he knows every exit, by number, that has a Cracker Barrel. I guess that’s not a great example since every exit on the expressway between Casa de Big Daddy and Big Nana’s place has a Cracker Barrel. But it is a little odd since he hates Cracker Barrel with a passion.

Anyhoo, we recently entered the 21st century and purchased a real GPS. We named her Victoria in honor of her British accent. Griffin is still our day to day go to guy for directions. However, there are just too many times Griffin is not in the car with us, or we are going someplace he has never been, that we decided we needed it. It’s also nice to know your ETA, which Griffin does not provide. But the best part? Listening to our human GPS in the backseat argue with the new-fangled electronic device stuck to the windshield.

We got an earful on our annual trek up Florida’s west coast last Christmas Eve. There are several different ways to go to Big Nana’s house. It seems every time there was a choice to be made, Victoria’s option differed from Griffin’s preference. So on the way up our car was filled with Christmas tunes on the radio and Griffin muttering from the back seat,

“Victoria is wrong.”

“That is not the right way.”

“Oooooh. Why does Victoria say that?”

“No, no, no, you need to go right.”

“Turn her off. Turn her off.”

On then the trip home, the ride up to my mother-in-law’s was clearly the best part of the whole trip for me. Especially lunch at the Cracker Barrel off of Exit 141.

Chicken Fried Steak and Corn Bread – $9.99

Garmin GPS – $249

Listening to your autistic son yell at Garmin GPS for 5 solid hours – Priceless.

(Flickr image by Jimmy_Joe)

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About the Author

F. Lewis Stark

F. Lewis Stark (aka Big Daddy) brings his unique view of fatherhood, and the world at large, to life in his books as well as on his frequently updated and hilarious blog. His tales (and cartoons) from the lighter side of raising a child with autism always spark laughter and discussion. By telling funny and off-beat stories from his life, Big Daddy shows that raising a kid with special needs is not all doom and gloom. To the contrary, it can be quite humorous and inspirational.