Here are some interesting peeks into the mind of an autistic teenager.
Lucas tries very hard to understand the autism world in which he lives, and occasionally, his dad and I get glimpses of just how hard that struggle is for him.
Sometimes the struggle results in some pretty interesting conclusions on Lucas' part (read on) and it always serves to remind us of just how hard Lucas has to work every day just to make sense of life, as seen through his autism world.
Autism World - Lucas Answers the Phone
Lucas and I were sitting in our sun room last night watching TV. The phone on the table next to Lucas started ringing.
As I tried to clear my lapfull of work to get up, I began to assure Lucas that the phone would stop ringing after 3 times (we have an answering machine set up that way).
He looked at me, said, "I'll get it", and picked the receiver up in mid-ring. Of course, the ringing stopped, so he said, "It's done now" and hung up...
I'm REALLY hoping it was a telemarketer!
Once again Lucas reminded me that no matter how far he's come, he's still looking at the world differently than me. (Obviously, in his autism world the goal was to stop that *#)$*%^ phone from making noise because he couldn't hear the TV!)
Autism World - A Mother's Day Miracle
I'm a firm believer in miracles, and I saw one occur right here on Mother's Day.
We had a cookout that day, "Dad" burgers on the grill, salad, etc. For dessert, Alan and Lucas had gotten my favorite, a coconut cream pie, which we had around 8 that evening.
When Alan put his empty plate on the table (we were eating our pie in the sun room while watching TV), Lucas came over to Alan, picked up his plate, fork and milk glass, and took them all into the kitchen, where he put them in the sink and rinsed them off.
Alan and I looked at each other... I finished my pie, and put my plate on the table. At that, Lucas came and got MY plate, fork and milk glass, and again took them to the sink, where he rinsed them off. WOW!!
Of course, we asked Lucas' teaching team if they coached the kids to do this on Mother's Day, and they swear they didn't. They are amazed at Lucas' consideration, and it appears that he came up with this entirely on his own.
Needless to say, it was the best Mother's Day present I ever got!!! And by the way, Lucas hasn't bothered to come and get my dishes since then...shoot!
But it's proof positive that the autism world allows for small, considerate miracles.
Autism World - Understanding Death
February 2007 was a tough month for our family; I lost an aunt and then an uncle within days of each other. While my uncle had been sick, my aunt's death was completely unexpected, and these deaths were quite hard on my family and me.
While preparing to attend the funeral Mass for my uncle, I explained to Lucas that he would be going home with his teacher after school, because Uncle Jim died and Lucas' Dad and I needed to go say goodbye to him.
Lucas responded with, "Uncle Jim's not died, he's on vacation with God," his voice ringing with the certainty that comes from knowing.
Living in his autism world, Lucas had come up with a perfect way to explain the death of a good man! After all, isn't that what we all strive for in this life, to be "on vacation with God" for eternity?
My poor parents; they spent all that money on my Catholic schooling for nothing...
Autism World - Speech, Use It!
Lucas paced back and forth behind his dad, who was using the computer. Finally his dad (Alan) turned around and said, "Lucas, do you want to use the computer?" Lucas nodded, "yes".
Alan said, "You have to tell me that you would like to use the computer." Lucas hit the side of his head with the palm of his hand, and said, "Use words, right! Sorry about that."
Even after 10 years of intensive speech therapy and constant work on Alan's and my part to engage Lucas socially, Lucas' statement made it obvious to us once again that words do not come naturally to him.
In Lucas' autism world, talking is and will probably always be a conscious effort for him, not an automatic response. (Ironically, I have trouble shutting up...)
Autism World - Lucas' Thoughts
Lucas figured out God's last name; he says it's, "Zilla"...
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