Tonight I had the pleasure of taking one of my girls classmates with us to ‘The Group’.
(The Group is a get together group for children with additional needs and their siblings).
It was amazing.
For reasons I will explain.
The child, a boy the same age as my girl, was diagnosed with Aspergers last year.
He was diagnosed very late in my opinion as he shows classic Autism traits.
My girl and the boy get on really well.
Get on……relate to….understand each other.
They were together, but not.
Sat together in the back of the car.
Each talking about their own obsession independantly, at the same time.
Each seemingly unaware of the others conversation.
Stopping briefly, but not listening to the other.
Talking alongside each other.
Then somehow Minecraft was introduced.
It was like a light had been turned on and they realised the other was there!
They began to talk at each other.
Not conversing; stating facts.
Asking basic questions about each others world turned into a brief ‘conversation’ and then….
…..back to 2 very different topics.
Conversations have unspoken rules.
Cues that you follow.
This is hard for a person with Autism to comprehend.
They often dominate a conversation or may only talk about something that interest them.
The word ‘Autism’ has its origin in the Greek word ‘autos,’ which means ‘self.’
People with Autism are often self-absorbed, seemingly existing in a private world.
A world where they are unable to successfully communicate and interact with others.
Communication isn’t just about the speech.
People communicate through hand gestures, eye contact and facial expressions.
People with Autism find this difficult to interpret.
The give and take, stop and listen, aspect of conversation is hard to understand.
It becomes easier for the child just to carry on the monologue of their favourite subject whereby no one else can become involved.
Easier to put themselves back into that bubble.
That little world, their familiarity, their safety.
They played alongside each other all night.
Each in their own little world.
I realised tonight just how difficult Autism makes communication.
I realised tonight that there are barriers that I just didn’t see.
…but it was amazing.
To see 2 Autistic children together.
The understanding of each other, the acceptance of their quirks, no comments or questions of either ones behaviour.
I think they know they are different.
I think they know they are both very similar.