Saturday, February 19, 2011

Non NT Happiness

My eldest is my most noticably non-neurotypical of my children.  On the autistic spectrum, I have spent his whole life trying to help him "get" social cues, with decidedly mixed results.  Some days I feel like watching his behavior, one would think that he was raised by wolves.  Other days, the kind and generous spirit that is within him glows forth.  Then there are times when you can see the spirit but there is all this murk from his lack of correct responses and interactions that make it hard on all of us.

Tonight I was cleaning up from supper as Chet finished his supper. He offered to "help" clean the fridge by eating the last pudding that i had made.  Not a big deal to me, I tend to make smallish portions of things as my kids are for some reason all about the number of things.  (they would seriously rather have 5 small cookies than 1 or 2 large ones for instance.)  So I agreed to his request even though he had technically all ready had a dessert.

As I cleaned he began to play with his pudding. Yup, that behavior that jumps out at you and screams "this is NOT a 25 year old is it?"  I have learned ignoring Chet just makes him up the ante, so I calmly told him he could eat the pudding or not but he could not play with it.  He made some very silly comment about the why of his choice of playing with it, and frankly I can't remember what that was that he said.  But it was the kind of comment that makes a parent arch their eyebrow and give their kid the look.  The look that NT kids learn early in life means, "I have gone too far.  Whoa, mom is gonna blow! "

Chet has never "gotten" the look, though I confess I still do it.  I just can't stop myself I guess. Or I am a glutton for punishment perhaps.  Till today, when miraculously, he did get it.  He looked up  and sort of grinned and said "it was just a joke. . . but I guess you didn't think so."

Writing this out, I know most people won't get why that was so exciting.  But Chet's biggest impediment in his life is his challenge reading social situations.  We work on it constantly.  So him yanking my chain with the pudding--it was worth it.


Mama Drama Times Two said...

So nice he was being reciprocal and playful! I get it. For us it such a relief now when a casual joke elicts a smile, or a giggle rather than a paranoid PTSD rage response. It is so nice not to be walking on egg shells all the time.

Dia por Dia said...

I TOTALLY get it! I guess there was a good reason why you kept giving him "the look" all these years...sometimes it takes a looonnnggggg while :-) We taught the little one "the look" and had her give it to our eldest every time he did something meriting it from me. He got it when it came from her so now I know it's personal and he isn't as willing to learn from me... :-)