I happened to be watching my children sleep this morning. I noticed something very interesting. They both sleep with teddy bears. It’s an attachment that the experts like to tell you just doesn’t happen. In fact, my oldest sleeps with a huge teddy bear. I would say its akin to an adult sleeping with a body pillow. My youngest has as many teddy bears as he can fit onto his bed and still be able to get in bed himself.
I ws trying to figure out why they do this. We hear all the time that persons with ASD don’t have attachments. That they do not understand emotion and that they do not feel. I as a parent of two aspie boys can tell the experts a thing or two. They feel alright, are attached and are generous to a fault. I know there was a new study out that says its not that ASD persons don’t feel its that they feel too much and have no way to filter so they just shut it down. Now that is a study I can undersand, and no its not wishful thinking.
I know for example, that my oldest is very worried about this country. He sits everyday watching the news, reading the internet and has decided to write editorials about his perceptions of this country’s direction. My youngest has a bone to pick with PETA and its misrepresentations. They have both been active in helping with the Darfur tragedy, and preparing food for Midnight Run. They have helped out with Habitat for Humanity, the Food Pantry and as mentioned in other blogs give all their money away to charities without thinking.
I also know that the oldest is worried about his younger brother from a school and perseverance perspective. He worries that his brother will not develop coping skills and won’t get on in the work world. He sees issues in his younger brother that he has already tackled and he wants to help him. I wouldn’t say that is seperating himself or not caring. The younger one always asks his father how his day was and goes out of his way to try to have a conversation with him when dad comes home from work. He likes to be read to by dad and stays up to all hours of the night until his father can read to him. It’s not about the book its about dad’s time.
I wouldn’t call that seperated.
I know my oldest worries about spending his life alone and I know for a fact that he feels lonely and wants friends. We participate in studies and they always ask that question about friends and loneliness. This doesn’t show seperateness but perhaps an inability to make friends or know how to start to make friends. It is a desire to be among people, to be a part of society , to love and be loved, to share your life with someone. It is the same search that any person engenders. The age old quest to have your life matter to someone else.
That is why the teddybears are so important. The need to connect. The need to be comforted and the need to comfort. The need to love and be loved. SImply put our children are human, and besides being given support and therapies the thing they need most is just a need to be understood.
Until next time,