Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stranger in a Strange Land

I have always known that my son has a difficult time with the social aspects of life. He's autistic - that's kinda the thing. I give him all the tips and tricks I can for dealing with people. He asks questions about people and what to do. But I just didn't understand the depth of his lack of understanding until we had this conversation:

AJ: "Mama, I've noticed people like to socialize."

Me: "Yeah, it's kind of an NT thing."

AJ: "But, why? WHY do people like to socialize? WHY do they NEED to socialize?"

Me: "Hmmmm, not sure. I guess people just like to feel connected to other people. It makes them feel less lonely, I guess."

AJ: "Why can't they just feel connected to themselves? Why do I have to learn to socialize - why can't they learn to NOT socialize?"

Me: "Because there are a lot more of them than you."

AJ: "That's a stupid reason!"

He's right, though. Why should he have to change? Why can't we all just let people be who they are? Why do we all feel the need to make people do things that we like, that we need? Why can't we just accept that everyone is different and everyone needs different things to be happy?

It's a difficult world for people who are different. Maybe we could all learn to help to make it easier.


Ivy said...

I like "because there are a lot more of them then there are of you." And like it or not, easy or not, they need to learn to interact with people because people are every where and our kids need to be able to function in the world at large. Best of luck!!!

Autism and family said...

Thanks. I hate to watch him struggle so much. But I think it will be easier now than trying to figure out people later on, at a job, or in a relationship.

MeghatronsMom said...

He could work in a lab all on his own & not have to socialize.

He is very insightful. If he already noticed this, he has beaten a huge part of the battle. GL.

Autism and family said...

Yeah, I'm thinking working in a lab is definitely in the cards. He loves to design in his "lab notebook". He is very insightful; the stuff he says amazes me continuously.