The Matrix

I thought that I would faithfully write about the journey in raising my son. The more I wrote, the more solid I became in my convictions to organize this brain that wasn't mine, to train into it some alien pliable form that was not going to stay on track anyway, and otherwise teach what seemed unteachable. Daily writing brought too much verbal thinking into my own visually-oriented mind to allow me to grasp the world in which my son immersed himself. And so...I embraced my own scattered nature, my own visual and spatial world, and became a part of his world. We were much happier -not that the road was smooth- when I invited my son into our world, slowly enticing him into space, a tentative shared space, between his universe and ours. I hope to share insights from the past, present, and future as I continue to ease the transition of this young man into an adult world. The only proven method I use is ages old -- I honor who he is and help him find people and places who do the same... square pegs fit nicely into soft putty that molds around them...and the push into plasticity is gentle.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Awareness Ball and Chain

A couple of days ago he fingered the newspaper as he sipped coffee at the local convenience store. “Autism Awareness?” he muttered at the articles du jour. “I’d like more awareness, but maybe some lack of Autism Awareness.”

It’s no secret that he’d like to be totally invisible in this alien world, this world that others navigate with varying degrees of ease and difficulty, but has little real meaning for him. What makes sense to the people around him makes little sense to him. What they take for granted-- simple things such as following someone’s pointed finger to a destination of their interest, or that the word cat describes a furry animal with whiskers in fonts Times New Roman, Arial, and/or in printed block letters unless... it is used as an abbreviation of a kind of boat, a catamaran.  And there are some days that for him sound is so loud that words are, for lack of a better term, invisible, as invisible as he'd like to be.

To complicate matters, what makes sense to him, most other people can’t begin to understand or imagine. It’s much more difficult for him to find someone who sees unforgettable details in  a painting or can figure out how HE solved a math problem, or who can hear a beetle moving across a rock, than for most people to find someone who gets meaning out of a three letter word.  To many of us, his world is as alien as our world is to him. Imagine his knowing that his world is considered to be the wrong world, even when he’s right. 

Of that, he is quite aware.