Friday, May 17, 2013

Mind blindness, Vulcans and angry boys

So I finally get a practical impression of this “mind blindness, theory of mind” thing. Yesterday, I returned home from work and decided to finish my dinner in the car while I listen to the radio. Well, no less than five minutes pass before Marty comes walking out onto the driveway. “Busted,” I think. I brace myself for Marty’s arrival. Then I watch as Marty walks in front of the car, around the driver’s side of the car, and over to the side of the house were his dad is mowing the lawn. I hear Marty’s dad say something to Marty. I imagine Marty was either nagging his dad about getting something for him, or begging his dad to come inside to get him juice or something that Marty could probably get on his own. I chuckle and wonder, “how in the hell did he not see this big a$# blue car sitting here.” While I enjoy this humorous moment, Max comes running out, looks over at the car, “Hey mom.” Surprisingly, he seemed happy to see me. I ask Max how was his day; he responds “good” and is off to play with his friends. Marty, on the other hand, is still on the side of the house talking [yelling] to his dad. I hear Marty’s dad tell Marty that he will do ‘whatever it is’ when he finishes mowing the lawn. Reluctant Marty heads back towards my car; walks around the car and back into the house. WTH! It’s like he never even saw the car, or he just didn’t think to look inside the car to see if I was in it. Perhaps it never occurred to him that the car had not been there when he got home from school. I don’t know. Anyway, I slowly finish up my taco salad and head inside. I walk upstairs and see Marty in the room playing Skate 3. “Mommy, you’re here!” He always greets me with such delight, like I hung the moon or something; it makes me feel so special. Cause any other time, Marty is demanding, bothersome, and “so frustrated.” I engage him and he talks about his day.  I’m glad that he didn’t catch me while I was in the car. I’m sure his reaction to my arrival would have been different. I know I would have got an earful of whatever he was giving his dad. Thanks, Mind blindness! Lately, Marty has been having a hard time dealing with his brother’s friends’ rejection. “Nobody wants to play with me,” Marty cries. It makes him so moody, and he is always mad about something. He seems so miserable when he tantrums, yells, and screams. I am exploring whether Marty has Oppositional Defiance Disorder because in the last few months he has been “off the chain” defiant. Is it the anxiety or the low frustration tolerance? I consider ABA’s ABCs – Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequences when I ponder his meltdowns. Most of them are seemingly out of the blue, and I can’t figure out what triggers them. BTW, Here is a neat website that further explains the ABC theory.
http://www.behaviorbabe.com/abcsofaba.htm

Today, I was fortunate enough to sneak away to see the latest installment of Star Trek. I enjoyed it; especially Spock’s character. I think he is a Vulcan Aspie. I see how, like my little Aspie, Spock masks his feelings and is not moved by his emotions leading his friends to believe that he doesn’t care. Spock thinks logically and is bound by rules. He is good at his job and works hard at it, like my Marty, who will spend hours building a complicated train track layout for ‘dear old’ Thomas.  I envision Marty designing an engineering marvel; something innovative and exciting. I know that, in the future, his brilliant mind will take him to great places in life. Moments like these remind me of how fortunate I am to have my two precious boys.

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