Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Star Wars Gets in Line

Okay, so I have always heard that kids on the spectrum like to put things in order. Various doctors and therapists have asked me if Sky did this--either now or when he was little. And while he like trains and building train sets, and while he loves Legos, I really never realized he lined things up. I mean, he never put the trains in line. He never put his Hot Wheels in line. He was particular about how things were set up, but maybe I never realized how much. Then today, when he was at his OT appointment, Sky was playing with his Lego mini-figures. He had them grouped and set up on the table. And Jeremy (his therapist) nonchalantly rearranged them. Sky promptly put them back in the same order. Then Jeremy had him turn his back from the table and asked him to tell him the order. Same order again. And as I watched him arrange the figures in the same order over and again, I realized that Sky was putting them in order of when he got them. Turns out he not only remembers exactly which figures came with which set, but he also remembers when he got them, who gave them to him, and how he felt when he received them. I also realized I need to pay closer attention. I mean, he's six, and I have never noticed him organizing things. Maybe it's the first time he's done it, but I somehow doubt it! One thing I've noticed in the three months since his diagnosis is that it turns out a lot of what Sky does is a result of his autism. This doesn't mean it's bad or needs to be corrected, but figuring out what he's doing and why he does it can't hurt either!

Maybe my problem is that I take these things too literally. Since Sky didn't put the Lego characters in a straight line, I didn't think he was obsessively organizing them. He's probably been doing equally subtle organization his entire life, and I have just not picked up on it. This reminds me of when Ren's retina detached(long story). The eye doctor told us it might, but when it actually started to happen--Ren described it as ink slowly filling in from the bottom of his eye. Since all the information I had read about detached retinas described the process as a black curtain falling over the eye, being literal, I assumed that a) it would happen from the top down, and b) it would happen quickly. Talk about not being able to generalize concepts! Fortunately, we called the doctor anyway and after emergency surgery and several weeks sleeping sitting up with an oxygen bubble that resembled Mickey Mouse floating in his eye, Ren was able to see again. It's a good thing I am not a doctor.


FMBMC said...

That is amazing!

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