Sunday, March 28, 2010


There are numerous conditions related to autism-- this is why it's called the "autism spectrum." Some disorders are severe and others are mild. Very rarely does someone simply have autism. There is usually a crossover with autism and other condition(s). This is called "co-morbidity."

Our sweet little Aspie also struggles with ADHD. And mild sensory integration dysfunction. And other things, too. One of these is auditory processing. This means that it takes longer for spoken language to go from his ears to his brain. We have to repeat what we say to him. A lot. And sometimes the language gets scrambled in the process.

He has come up with his own coping mechanism for this. And we, his parents, think it's cute. No, not just cute. Absolutely adorable. His teachers find it endearing as well. As he processes the statement or request he's just heard, he'll whisper it back to himself. For example:

"Mom, where's daddy?" he'll ask.

"Daddy's at work. He'll be home soon." I'll say.

A pause. Then comes the whisper: "Daddy's at work." He'll hold still for a moment longer (quite a feat!) And then he'll proceed with what he was doing (usually, jumping off the furniture,) satisfied that he understands what I just said. This type of exchange always makes me giggle.

Spring has come, somewhat grudgingly, to our area. Our little guy was outside with daddy, working in the garden. He noticed a multitude of ants crawling across the hose reel and pointed them out to his father, who asked:

"Do you see ants? Do we have ANTS in our PANTS that make us DANCE?" joked daddy.

Our little guy froze. The wheels turned in his head. Then came his whisper:

"Ants... pants... dance................ JOKE." He processed it quite well.

And with the tiniest of giggles, he dug into the garden again.


Lindsay said...

Another fabulous post. Have you considered writing a book about your experience raising your kids. They are so unique and you have such a refreshingly understanding and patient way with them. I think you could teach people much about dealing with those who are different.

- Lindsay

Sally said...

I second Lindsey's comment. You have a great talent for writing and putting it all in perspective. I think you are a wonderful example of raising children with love, patience and understanding.