Thursday, 28 July 2011

Autism speak

I love autism speak....J like most children with autism can be very precise and literal in what he says and understands without necessarily getting things quite right. This leads to some hilarious conversations at times - either with J or overheard when J is talking to others.
For example, my mother has practically adopted one of the local priests, he is about my age but has lost both parents. In my Mum's eyes this makes him an orphan in need of adoption - and she wants to adopt! Recently he was invited over to my Mum's house for dinner - an event to which J and I were also invited. All went well - my father referred to the priest as "the parson" (shades of Little House on the Prairie) and also as "the vicar" (actually suspect my Dad may have some autistic tendancies) and J was on his best behaviour.
At around 9.30pm as J, I and the priest left for our respective homes, J shook the priest solomnly by the hand .. "Goodbye Fr B.....and make sure you look after God", and good old Fr B replied with good humour, "Actually J, I am rather hoping God is going to look after me".

A few days later and J's Dad is here with a collection of Dr Who DVDs, now I have a hankering after the ...ahem...talented Christopher Eccleston in the role of Dr Who and requested several episodes from that series including one called "Bad Wolf".  J having sat through a few episodes was agog at the "Bad Wolf" one until he realised after much explanation from both his parents, that there was in fact no wolf and the name of the episode related to something else entirely - J was not impressed and showed it by stomping off in a huff.

So - I have to watch what I say.....a couple of years ago on holiday with some friends who had a dog, we stopped to have a good long walk at Maiden Castle in Dorset - this is very windswept, wild and open and I noted with satisfaction that Sancha (friend's dog) would be in "doggie heaven" here. This throwaway comment drew much distress from J, "she's not really going to heaven is she Mum" and a reassurance that this was "a saying" and not meant to be taken literally.....the conversation went on for some time before J could accept that Sancha was not, in fact about to die, but was rather going to have a long and satisfying walk/run in a wide open space.

So we watch what we say and be prepared to explain when we have to....

"It's raining cats and dogs" = "Where Mum?"
"Kill two birds with one stone" = "What? You're joking aren't you Mum? Mum, is that a joke?"
"An apple a day keeps the Doctor away" = (J raids fruit bowl).

J is literal, not overly so and he is able to recall things so that once heard he may well know the next time "that is just a saying".....sometimes he needs reminders but mostly he gets by.
I am proud of him for being himself and for seeing the world in his own unique way...he is special and I never tire of telling him this. .. and I never tire either of hearing how J has interpreted conversations and events because without a doubt he will have seen something which nobody else has...and sometimes that is magical.

No comments: