We are the champions

April 14, 2008 at 8:42 am 3 comments

    When something happens, good or bad, C often tells me the story in bits and pieces, sometimes over a period of days. Because his perception of events is often different than other people’s, he sometimes doesn’t tell me what I need to know in order to fully understand the situation and help him process it. I’ve grown better at asking the right questions to get to the bottom of something while still allowing his telling of the story to be in his way.

     The other day at school, a boy in C’s class called him a “loser.” The interesting piece of the story here is that C was running to get a ball at the time, and he got it. He took the word “loser” so literally as to mean he lost the race to get the ball. His point was that he DID get the ball, so he was a “winner.” He was upset, not because the boy meant something far more all-encompassing than C’s understanding of the word, but because the boy was technically wrong. 

     I was so thankful in that moment that he doesn’t comprehend the connotations of the word. I was so grateful that he sees things in black and white so he didn’t understand how awful and powerful a word it can be. For him it’s about the definition, not the nuance. Yet someday he will understand that word, and all its negative undertones. For that, I fear, he is sorely under-prepared (aren’t we all?). I can only hope when I told him that he is in fact a winner, it, like the other positive things we try to say to him whenever possible, settled into his psyche enough to help counteract some of what will surely come down the road.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

One step ahead I like K5

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lastcrazyhorn  |  April 14, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    I know that feeling . . . of someone getting the definition wrong and me getting stuck on that as opposed to the meaning. You might try explaining that while every word has a definition, not all have the same meaning . . .

    I’m just so glad this one time he didn’t get it. Or that he is so literal he didn’t get it, and I certainly wasn’t going to explain it to him! I think you have a good point; I’ll have to start doing that on words that aren’t potential landmines for him. Thanks! 🙂

  • 2. FXSmom  |  April 15, 2008 at 12:48 am

    My 13 yr doesn’t have autism but we also have to get things out of him in bits and pieces over several days. It’s hard to find the right questions to get to the heart of the issue sooner because he will shut down if he’s not ready to share.

    It is tough – I’m always worried I’ll miss some big issue that needs to be “handled” or something. Knock on wood, nothing earthshattering yet (that I know of!!! LOL!).

  • 3. T$  |  April 15, 2008 at 1:02 am

    we’re all “losers” at some point in our lives, especially on the playground. C will win more than his share, and at things that matter more than retrieving a ball or winning favor from his grade-school peers. but there will be some tears along the way…

    Oh, yes, I just am anxious to get to the point where he realizes that other things matter more than that. At the moment, it’s ALL about sports. God love this child, because he struggles so at them! I think growing up is hard for everyone, I just think it’s harder for kids like him.


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