My closest friends son is an Aspie as is my oldest boy. During a recent trip to the park we were chatting about the similarities but also the differences between the two. One is a mechanical things loving extrovert. The other is a nature loving introvert. One sings or refuses to listen to some songs, the other doesn't notice the presence or absence of music. One is small for his age, the other large. The list goes on.
He's not like Billy/Fred/Jane!
- Mostly boys - but they'll be some girls
- Some kids with poor eye contact - but one or two will have great eye contact
- Some kids that are playing on their own, seeming to ignore the existence of the others - and some running around playing tag or being dinosaurs or octonauts together
- Some kids won't like bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, all of the above - some will get to an overload point - some will show no reaction whatsoever
- Some very quiet kids - some really noisy kids - some moderate kids. And which ones are which will probably keep changing.
|Cookie Cutter Autism|
One of the things you'll get told or read over and over is that autism is about developmental delay. It is BUT that doesn't mean they will be delayed in every area.
Old or Young For His Age?
My little boy still has the occasional time when he throws himself onto the floor hysterically because he lost a game in the classroom. In his defense he's well aware of his inability to cope with losing and takes steps to control it, usually by avoiding playing.
It's also quite apparent that he has very little care for others feelings if it's in conflict with what he wants. His little brother is the main exception to this rule, he doesn't like him being upset.
His coordination in sports is somewhat lacking in things like throwing or riding his bike. It would probably help if he would pay any attention to where he was going. His running is quite good though and now that he's becoming interested in cricket his catching is showing improvement simply because he's found a reason to be interested in it.
In other ways though he is frighteningly old. His thought processes are extremely logical, he can think his way around corners and can be incredibly persuasive in his arguments. His problem solving skills and manipulation of others can be scary and most certainly demonstrates an awareness of other peoples buttons and feelings. The best way I can describe him at such times is 'a born politician'.
He knowingly humours me. He will tell his stepdad that he's told me what I wanted to hear so he could get on with things.
So if you're looking into the future for a glimpse of your child, I'm happy to say that for autistic children it's just as much a mystery as for any other kid. And I can't emphasise enough - it won't be all bad, in fact some of it will be pretty damn amazing.