Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Trip To The Mall

Woo Hoo! Woo Hoo!

Happy Dance, Happy Dance

Sean's day went well yesterday.  I'm not quite sure of the details but he came home exhausted and happy.  AND... no phone calls or emails from school personnel!!!!

It will take weeks before Sean processes the minutia of the day and reports back to us.  It's something that we have gotten used to over the years.

For example, I was driving to the local mall one day when Sean shouted from the backseat of my mini-minivan, "Someone got hurt on the playground."

Hmmmm... considering it's the middle of winter and I know for a fact that Sean's classroom doesn't go outside in this kind of weather, I know this is not a recent event.

"Sean, when did that happen?"

"Oh, a few weeks ago."


It seems like difficulty in communicating with my autistic child would be a foregone conclusion, but when your child IS verbal, a whole unique dynamic is thrown in.

Most people would readily assume that Sean would tell us the goings on of his daily life.  He would tell us if something was wrong or if someone had wronged him.  One would think so but it's simply not true.

Sean needs time to process.  The details are in his brain - locked behind a multitude of doors, each with their own unique key.  It can be a scene in a television show, something one of us said, or merely the passage of time that will enable Sean to finally unlock that door and let us in.  Even then, the story may have as many twists and turns as a corn maze and you'll have to take a time-out for your own processing!

Honestly, and I really don't want to admit this, but it can be exhausting at times.  I'm sure it's equally, if not more, exhausting for Sean.

How do you communicate with a world when you prefer to be in your own?  He struggles with words and phrases.  You can feel his brain working.  You can see the strain on his face as he searches and reaches.

It's not easy.  Therefore, we do not push.

We just drive...

And wait for that voice from backseat.

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