What Is “Appropriate”

I got into a conversation with someone yesterday over the fact that my 9yr old boy, Steve chose a giant stuffed turtle to spend his money on as his a “trinket” if you will from our vacation. 

“I am really surprised by this” this person said to me. 

This made me think. This made me realize just HOW MUCH people don’t know about kids with autism and I keep hearing things like age appropriateness. 

From my perspective, there is no such thing as AGE appropriateness. For my son, in his life, (and to be honest I think every kid in everyone’s life if you REALLY stop to think about it) what is developmentally appropriate carries far more significance. 

You see, again from MY perspective, children I have met with autism including my son, they don’t necessarily develop in ORDER. 

Childhood, the way people generally look at it, looks something like this:

A leads to B leads to C leads to D and on and on…

Children hold up their head before they roll over. They roll over before they sit up, they sit up before they stand for example.

For my son, A maybe leads to D then to T then to G and he may never EVER see C in his life 

THIS IS AUTISM

He sometimes gets stuck at a stage for a long time. Then sometimes he jumps two, three of 4 stages, then often times go back to another stage over again. 

So the fact that he felt the best reflection of his trip was a giant stuffed turtle that seemingly to you and me means nothing regarding the trip, it means something to him. He knows exactly where “George the Turtle” came from. What city we were in, what we were doing when he found him and what other adventure George then took with us for the rest of our vacation. I was even asked to “give George a bath because he’s been a lot of places, touched a lot of things, and probably has some germs on him.”

I’d say he gets it… so why the hell do YOU care that its a stuffed turtle?

 

~me

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