Friday, November 19, 2010

The Puzzling Paradoxes of Autism

Today, I ask a lot of questions about my son.

Why can he remember all of the highway numbers we took on last summer’s vacation, yet cannot remember to check the tag on his clothes before putting them on? (“The tag goes in the back” and “the heel is on the bottom” are constant refrains at our house as he still puts his clothes on backward as often as not.)

Why can he effortlessly tell us the order that all fifty states joined the United States, but only arduously tell us four things about his day at school?

Why does he like to write alphabet letters all day long (including those in the Hebrew alphabet), yet will protest all day long if you ask him to write one sentence?

Why does he read well beyond his grade level, but often cannot answer seemingly easy questions about why a character in a story did something?

Why can he chatter on about birthdays of states, yet clam up when we ask him simple yes/no questions?

How can he have so much energy all day when he hardly ever sleeps through the night?

Why does he enjoy running very fast, but does not want to ride a bicycle even very slowly?

Why did he learn multiplication in a day, when he hasn’t learned how to blow his nose after years of trying?

Why does he usually have such a fun-loving personality, yet get incredibly upset over the most seemingly inconsequential things?

The quick answer to all of these questions, I suppose, is autism.

From moment to moment, I can be in complete awe or totally frustrated by what my son can and cannot do. Such is the paradox of autism.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...