au·tism[aw-tiz-uhm] Show IPA
Psychiatry. a pervasive developmental disorder of children,characterized by impaired communication, excessive rigidity,and emotional detachment: now considered one of the autism spectrum disorders. ~Dictionary.com
That's how they want you to see him. Cold. Detached. Completely submerged in himself.
But I don't think so. This is what I see.
He's hilarious. He is pure silliness.
He loves us.
All of us. Not just the ones who meet his needs.
He's not your typical big brother, but he is Richie's hero... and they are best of friends.
He shares, he loves, he snuggles, he hugs.
He misses those he loves when he doesn't see them. He remembers them. Asks for them.
And he enjoys them while they're around.
My son... my beautiful, precious son... has severe autism. There is a laundry list of things he cannot yet do, and many of them are starred with a subtle "might never".
He is different. Markedly so. There are behaviors he exhibits that are challenging, and he has difficulty expressing his emotions, needs, desires, and thoughts in traditional and socially acceptable ways. But mark my words... HE IS NOT DETACHED.
His behaviors make it seem that way. But he is everything but detached.
He just needs time.
Once he's had the proper time, you're in his heart and mind forever. He never sees my great aunt Gladys Mae, but you can see how he loves her. He insisted that she stay with him at the table. He couldn't get enough snuggles while she was here.
He still asks for my Nanny, who passed away three years ago. "Want to go to the house on the hill?" and "You want to see your Nanny?" are not uncommon questions for him.
He loves. He feels. He doesn't show it the same way. You have to be willing to leave social convention at the door, and be flexible and willing to hear with new ears, see with new eyes.
You have to be willing to let him show you his way.
If you do, if you give the time it takes to get to know a kid like Ryan... you will never regret it.
I'm completely addicted to every time he throws his arms around me, kisses my cheek, and the few times he tells me, "I love you mom."
No, not detached. Everything but detached. It takes some time, maybe a little effort, and a little open-mindedness to see the attachment, to recognize it.
To tell the truth, he's absorbed in himself and his little world just as much as I am, but without the social worries and pressures that go along with that.
Thanks be to God.