Uncategorized

Who You Want Him To Be

You want him to be autistic but just enough that he can sit still and listen like the rest of his peers. But, his listening will never look like everyone else’s. It will likely always include doodling, looking away and humming to himself. I know it looks like he’s not listening, but if you ask him to tell you what you’ve said, he can.

You want him to be autistic but just enough that he can still remember all the required tasks for the day, and you want him to be autistic but just enough that he can keep track of eleventy million pieces of paper. His recall will always be different than his typical peers. He will likely always need constant reminders of what to do when. I envision him at his desk when he’s come in from field work (he’s totally going to be a paleozoologist) with post it notes scattered everywhere reminding him where to be and when, and papers stacked to and fro looking like a fire hazard. I see a well trained assistant reminding him he’s late for a lecture…again and here are the papers you need.

You want him to be autistic but just enough that his stimms aren’t disruptive. On his own, he’s kind of figuring out which stimms are socially appropriate, and he holds in the ones that are not. We’ve not asked him to do this, that shows he’s aware more now than ever how he looks to others. But sometimes, a boy needs to spin, to line things up to make order out of a world that is so disorderly.

You want him to be autistic but just enough that he is still flexible in his ideas and thinking and interactions. You forget that the singular line of thinking for people like him is often what makes them successful later in life. How many great ideas and discoveries only happened because someone wouldn’t, no couldn’t, give in on their idea? 

You want him to be autistic but just enough that he doesn’t have meltdowns when his typical peers can handle the situation just fine. It’s hard to see him out of control, crying and hiding unable to process what you’re telling him. 

Ultimately, you want him to be autistic but just enough that he doesn’t make you question your ability as a parent, a teacher, a brother, a person of authority. But this isn’t reality. He is autistic, his brain is different, and that’s okay.