Having a child with Autism, you automatically become aware of the world on a much wider spectrum than you ever realized.
Now, my son Logan has yet to be placed on a specific level of the spectrum, but he can speak, although it is not conversational, he is improving every day and can say short sentences, thanks to hard work and a mild Dora the Explorer addiction he has developed…. or rather Nick Jr as a whole. He also goes to school full-time and with a class of four in total, and so gets the help he needs.
We are pretty well prepared for things, we plan ahead and have everything mapped out. He has a communication board with pictograms that he needs to ‘check in’ with and then match the picture on the board with the corresponding image in the house; playtime, eating, school bus, shopping, shower, bed, etc. This he does with no problem, and you can see how much more fluid his day goes with this system in place.
However, pause all of that for a second, and add a newborn baby to the mix… what is the result.
We had no idea what to expect from Logan when we brought Damon home. We expected him to ignore him completely, to just continue in his own way. We understood he would be out of sorts for a few days while he adjusted to the new family situation, however, what we had never truly considered was that he just accepted it all.
He comes to look at his baby brother, he touches him, or rather strokes his head like a pet, and he holds his hand. He has done this twice now in as many days. He says baby when he looks at Damon, and seems to understand that things have been altered, but has not been affected by it. If anything, he seems even more relaxed and at ease. Even his school commented that he was so laid back and happy that they too were surprised with the ease with which Logan has adapted.
To put it in a context that may sound strange to those who do not know anybody with autism, it is a truly fascinating thing. The spectrum is so broad and the people diagnosed so varied. I would love to be able to see what my son sees, to look at the world through his eyes. He is a treasure, all my children are, and helping him through life is going to be a challenge, but it is one I am looking forward to.