Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Autism Devotion to ... Mothers


Hi and welcome to a new year.  This post marks the start of what will hopefully be an ongoing series showcasing the ways in which people with Autism express love and devotion.  

Although they often write the words on cards, my children don't often directly tell my wife that they love her - at least, not without a lot of prompting or not without having some tempting candy either on offer or recently delivered.  They do love her though.  It's just sometimes a little hard to read the signs.

"Come downstairs", she will often call, to silence.  Dragging them away from a video game is almost impossible - especially if it involves work of any kind.  It's one of the reasons that I always include the reason as part of my calls;  "Come downstairs, dinner is ready!" for example.  Of course, I have very little chance of getting the boys downstairs for anything that isn't to their advantage.

I was sitting upstairs yesterday when my wife accidentally trod barefoot on a block of wood that the dog had  brought in. She shrieked because obviously it hurt.  Within seconds, the boys who were in different rooms had let go of their game controllers and were running downstairs asking "are you alright?"

It may not seem like much but believe me, it's a very big deal. It's especially a big deal because both boys made the decision independently.

An instant reaction to a cry for help is just one of the ways that these boys on the autism spectrum express their love for their mother.

8 comments:

Philip said...

What a beautiful anecdote - please continue this series!

Becki C. said...

As a mom of someone with autism, I can't thank you enough for this. It's almost like my son came up to me just now and said, "I love you." Yes. Do please continue the series! Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

"An instant reaction to a cry for help is just one of the ways that these boys on the autism spectrum express their love for their mother."

Yes, very true!

Also, is she feeling better now?

Gavin Bollard said...

Yes, she's feeling much better now. Thanks.

Justin said...

I completely understand the blank stares trying to get my 7 year old son to take his eyes off a video game.

Superficially, he can seem at times like he doesn't care about others... unless you step into his brain for a bit.

Yesterday, I was really not wanting to read a particular book to my 2 year old and my 7 year old stopped what he was doing (something video game related) offered to read it to him, and politely read the entire thing to him.

Justin said...

I completely understand the blank stares trying to get my 7 year old son to take his eyes off a video game.

Superficially, he can seem at times like he doesn't care about others... unless you step into his brain for a bit.

Yesterday, I was really not wanting to read a particular book to my 2 year old and my 7 year old stopped what he was doing (something video game related) offered to read it to him, and politely read the entire thing to him.

Anonymous said...

My now 7 year old would express his love by telling you "I like you" starting around the age of 4. This was reserved for VERY special people and you didn't hear it often. Even when you would tell him, you loved him, he would respond with a 'I like you too'. It has only been in the past year where he uses the word 'love', which is used with the same scaracity as like. But at least he has finally found the connection.
On a side note, we had to remove Ipad/Ipod devices for a while. We found that he would devote hours to Minecraft and couldn't leave the game. And boy there were temper tantrums when he did - even for dinner. He is a much more pleasant kids with the reduced usage of electronic devices.
Thanks for this series and please keep it up.

Jennifer said...

When I was in high school my mother was doing laundry and some bleach splashed into her eye. My little sister, who was maybe 12 at the time, turned into a little nurse and I just felt unmoved. I helped Mom wash her eye out and got her a towel but I didn't see what the fuss was about -- even when her normally pale blue iris turned black! I always looked back at that with shame, thinking it was yet another example of what a devil I was. Now I realize I always get that way when something 'catastrophic' happens. I get toooo calm and toooo unassociated from it. I've learned to say and do all the right things so people think I've got a heart now, but it really is an act unless it's one of my kids or - surprise - an animal. I read about 'compassion fatigue' in a magazine and was astounded such a thing existed.