Different – Fri 10th Oct 2014

By | October 10, 2014

When T was diagnosed with high functioning autism in April 2013, it was a relief. A relief that we weren’t imagining the increasing social and emotional variances between him and his peers, also that the traits that he used as coping strategies.

Much as I’ve always disliked a label defining T or D, it was also evident that, as secondary school loomed for him, a label (diagnosis) would be necessary in order for him to access any additional support, if it were required.

I will always remember us all (apart from D, she was at school) sitting in a coffee shop after receiving his diagnosis, T looking relaxed and (almost) relieved but, from the outset, definitely preferring the term “high functioning” (without the autism on the end).

T isn’t a massive talker about his emotions – unless something is really, really upsetting him – but give him a prompt on a topic he’s interested in and he’s off – football, sport, Minecraft etc.

Today we were all walking home and, as I do every day, I asked T how his day went. Some days he elaborates, some days it’s a “fine”, but today he was talking about his Spanish lesson. They’d learnt how to say the alphabet in Spanish and then had to compose a few sentences about themselves, T said it in Spanish and then English:

“My name is T, I’m 11 years old, I’m intelligent and a bit different”.

I replied to T as I mentioned in my So, who wants to be the same anyway? post, that being different is a good thing, that if there hadn’t been individuals striving to achieve, then we may not necessarily be surrounded by the inventions that we are, that wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same?

It seemed to help him.

I’m relieved that he’s thinking over and above the norm, but it does mean that we have to second or third guess T, to anticipate and respond to questions.

On a positive note, we did our “round robin” best and worst bits of the week (as we do at tea time every Friday) and neither T or D had any “worst” bits. We have always thought that D is very much in the “here and now” when it comes to her responses and, considering it’s been a week when she’s been extremely fragile and upset about her i pad being sent away for repair, I guess it was positive that, at that moment, she was happy.

It’s been a good end to what’s been a very long week, I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx


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