Life Goes On

I am struggling a little today. I have been trying to study but my brain keeps going foggy (I’ve started a Statistics course with half the points of my previous course – I’m hoping I’ll be able to cope better with the workload). This morning we were woken around 4am by a series of beeps. Then sometime later another series of beeps. And another, and another. I groaned and pulled the pillow over my head.

In the morning, as Prince is about to leave for school, Frank says, in his patient, gentle way, “Can you please make sure you turn off whatever was beeping last night? Mummy and Daddy don’t want to be woken up at 4 o’clock, thank you.”

Prince stares, in his detached way. “It was my alarm.”

“Yes,” says Frank, “but why was it going off at 4 o’clock in the morning?”

“So that it would wake me up.”

Ask an autistic child a direct question and you’ll get a direct answer…

Frank knows this, so he says, “Yes, but why did you set it for 4 o’clock in the morning?”

“I wanted to get up and be ready for school.” Prince is so s…l…o…w in the mornings. He is always running late, no matter what we do. We are used to it.

“But you got up at ten to eight!”

“I went back to sleep, Daddy!” He sounds pained.

Frank sighs. Prince just looks blank.

I say, “Well done for being up in time for school. Please make sure the alarm doesn’t go off before 7 o’clock. You woke me up.”

Unfortunately, although I can appeal to Prince over waking me up (I am his current favourite, second only to Glorious Grandmother), he wouldn’t bat an eyelid if I accused him of waking anyone else up.

Then comes a knock at the door. “Taxi’s here, Prince!” Chip yells. “And you woke me up last night too! I’m tired now!”

Chip’s life could be written as a series of exclamation marks. She always manages to run into school all higgledy-piggledy. This morning, with toothpaste on her cardigan, her coat hanging off her arm and her specs askew, she looks like she got dressed in a jumble sale in the middle of a hurricane. Just as well she’s charming with it. I don’t know how she manages to charm every single person she meets, but she does.

Prince ignores her and continues calmly, yet deliberately, eating his toast.

“Prince,” I say, the same as I say every morning, “the taxi is here.”

“It’s early. It’s only 8.13.”

I cannot argue this; the kitchen clock does indeed say 08.13. At 08.15 Prince promptly stands up and strides to the front door.

Now it’s time to go.”

I follow, to make sure the door is unlocked. There’s no point trying to reason with him. That only slows him down more.

As he pulls the door behind him Prince calls, “See, Mummy, I’m not banging the door because I’m not cross!”

Hmm… I find myself humming ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ and decide to write a blog post.

2 thoughts on “Life Goes On

  1. One of the boys that comes to our Bible study has ADHD, but he also has some characteristics of autism, I think. I am baffled. Sometimes he blankly stares at us instead of answering, and once we wanted to help him with his verses in the car on the way to AWANA, and instead of flatly refusing to work with us, he just gave us the silent treatment. WE hadn’t pressured or anything, we just knew that he doesn’t study at home and we thought we could make it a little easier for him when it was his turn to recite verses at church. He also will try to argue over weird things during the Bible study. I don’t know much about the characteristics of autism in older children, just in the little ones.

    • Perhaps the young lad needs to be seen by an educational psychologist? They can distinguish between the different disorders. It is a very isolating disorder, and it’s better to know what it is and be able to try to do some research/learn techniques to cope, than to just not know, both for the parents and for the child. I would imagine it is very hard if you grow up with autistic tendencies but no diagnosis. The world, and everyone in it, must seem very strange. I’d imagine it could leave you very unhappy and possibly very depressed.
      My son argues over strange things, too, lol. This is because Autism is in part a processing disorder and in part a lack of ’emotional intelligence’. Basically, the brain is ‘wired’ differently and social cues are not seen (these are the things we take for granted – gesture, tone, context, etc.). I’m quite sure my dear boy thinks the rest of us are insane! We’re all so illogical, you see. Autism wants concrete answers to everything. But of course they don’t exist. And teaching our son about God has been a struggle. He understands that love is what makes us different (as followers of Christ) and he understands that God is love and that Jesus is God’s son and came to teach us about love, but the nuances, the subtleties are all way over his head. At 14 he just about understands very, very simple stories – he doesn’t have the ability to imagine the characters’ motives so it’s all meaningless. But he understands about love. The reason I say all this is because Autism Spectrum Disorders are complex and if the young man from your bible study needs extra help due to this kind of learning disability it would be so sad to delay that.
      Thank you for commenting. It’s so nice when people comment 🙂

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