Out of the Mouths of Babes

Isaiah came home yesterday from a two-week visit with his father and his father’s family.  He explained to me that he had worked in the yard and got a little sunburned but otherwise had a good visit.

Isaiah Being Helpful

Then, Isaiah wanted to share with me how helpful he had been over his visit. He explained that his cousin had a difficult time sleeping and “since I know what that’s like, I decided to give him one of my melatonin.” What?!?!  I calmly asked Isaiah if he had asked his aunt if his cousin was allowed to take anything. “No, we were at Grandma’s.” Okay, very literal in his thinking. I can work with that, so I asked Isaiah if he had asked his grandma. At this point Isaiah got very frustrated because he thought he had done something wrong.

What do you do when your Aspie is about to have a meltdown? You reassure him. I told Isaiah that he wasn’t in trouble this time but that he shouldn’t give pills to anyone without asking a grown up first. Isaiah’s response? “I was just trying to help and the doctor said they were natural and they were okay to take.” If you have a child with Autism, you know that once the expert (doctor, teacher, police officer, firefighter, store clerk, clergy) says something is okay there is no going back or arguing.  :sigh:

I thanked Isaiah for helping his cousin and firmly reminded him that he needed to ask permission next time. I told him that sometimes what works for us – what doesn’t hurt us – might not be good for someone else, that it might actually hurt them. Isaiah reluctantly agreed, and a disastrous meltdown was averted. Huzzah!

Isaiah at Dinner

Later that evening, we went to dinner with family members from out-of-state and enjoyed a pleasant meal. Everyone at the table got a salad except for Isaiah, so when the rest of us headed to the salad bar, Isaiah yelled, “I’ll hold down the fort.”  Isaiah had made a joke, at the right time, using a metaphor. I was over the moon with excitement! Progress in understanding and using figurative and social language was being made. It was very exciting!

But like everything for Isaiah, He takes huge steps forward and tiny steps back. As we waited for our food, Isaiah began getting nervous because it was taking longer than usual for the food to arrive. My uncle tried to lighten the mood and make a joke, “Do you think they went to Del Rio [a town several hours away] to get the chicken?” Isaiah was quite perplexed and didn’t quite hear the question, so he responded with, “Why would I need to go to Del Rio to get my food?”  Oh, Isaiah. I told him, “It was a joke that meant the server was taking a long time.” Isaiah was still confused about it. I told him it was okay. I would have explained further, but the food arrived and the confusion over the joke was forgotten.

What Isaiah Learned

The rest of the dinner continued without incident, and a good visit was had by all. We said our good-byes at the restaurant and went home. Sitting in the car in front of the house was the first time I was able to talk to Isaiah alone. He said he did have a good visit with his father and that they talked about “a lot of stuff.” Oh really? What stuff? I was worried because last year his father and sister ambushed me with the news that his sister wanted to move out of my house. I was concerned that a lot of stuff might mean they were trying to convince Isaiah to move out as well.

So, I prepared my heart for the devastating blow and asked him, “What stuff?” Isaiah gave me the cutest answer, not the most reassuring answer, but the cutest answer. He said, “oh, you know, just stuff I was curious about. … And stuff I didn’t even know I was curious about!”

My heart simultaneously soared with relief and sank with anxiety. Well, I guess someone had to talk to him. I would have preferred to wait until he was actually curious, and I’m not entirely sure the information was accurate, but that is a conversion for next week.

More to Come

Isaiah will participate in a lock-in tonight with his youth group, and Wizard World Comic Con this weekend. Stayed tuned for more adventures in Autism with Isaiah Unmedicated.

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