Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New books about being an individual with Autism and Marty's progress

Marty and I went to the bookstore today, an outing that once amused Marty for hours, now, it seems he is "ready to go" after 30 minutes. Lately, he has become increasingly clingy to me and craves my undivided attention. I am usually able to work and read while Marty plays on the train table or explores the children's books; now, Marty's train play revolves around storylines and when the story ends, he is ready to leave. What is this about? He also had it in his mind that we were going to the toy store where he would play on yet another train table, the same kind, in fact. I don't get it. Any hoo, I wanted to share my latest readings, Raising Cubby and The Autistic Brain, both authored by successful adults with Autism. It is  fascinating to read about how they interpret the world and their intense attention to details and facts. I often encourage Aspie dad to write about his childhood and vivid memories of his late infancy. He can recall events that happened when he was a toddler. I explained to him that most individuals can not do this, and even gave him an illustration of the differences between our own children's recollected tales of their young childhood. Max's memories of when he was a toddler usually consist of events that left an emotional impression...having fun on vacations in Vegas, Orlando, etc. Marty recalls most events that you ask him about. Its as if once he developed language, he was able to, somehow, file these memories in his brain in a highly organized way. For instance, both boys visited the Day out with Thomas the Train when they were 3; however Marty's recollection of his experience is more precise and detailed, Max, on the otherhand, can only relate that he had been there and relies on photographs of the event for verification. This intrigues me. Hopefully, I can persuade Aspie dad to write a book or memoir about his life; it would be a profound look at being a black person with Autism in a period of time when having Autism was liken to having mental retardation and mental issues were unspoken of and taboo in minority communities. Aspie dad struggles with this label of having Autistic traits. He convinced himself that he is as social as the next man even though in the 13 years that I have known him, he has yet to meet a new friend, invite any friends over, or initiate any social interactions with his peers. He is not socially motivated, but assures me that it is only because he is "mature", whatever dude. Well, after the bookstore, Marty and I meet a friend for lunch. Marty surprised me with his request to, "see the menu," and pointing to his selection of seseame chicken instead of chicken nuggets. My little boy is growing up and expanding his taste buds. Tears. After lunch, we headed to the park and Marty surprises me once again. He heads to the playground determined to meet someone and share his new airplane that can go on the wooden railroad track...yes this is how he describes it, and will get offended if you slip up and call it a train. Potato, Patato, whatever. So Marty manages to break the ice amongst a half dozen 5 year olds by saying, "Hey, you wanna see my new airplane." "Sure," a bossy girl remarks as she snatches the plane train and commences to race it up the paved walk-way. Marty is ok with it until he discovers that the plane is now damaged. I convince him to leave the plane behind with me while he plays. He reminds me that it wasn't his fault that the plane got damage, but the kids who were playing too rough with it; thus they are too blame. Marty seems to cooperate with the other children and surprisingly plays all the games they propose. I am so proud of him. Then I hear his deep raspy voice say to the children, "I'm tired of playing hide and seek," as if they would stop playing based on his loss of interest. Marty recovers quickly after his suggestion is dismissed and ignored. He continues to run and hide and appears to be having fun. My little Aspie is doing a good job being the best kid that he can be, in spite of his differences, he can play a mean game of 'hide and seek' like the next kid.

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