My son has never been really shy. He’s done plenty of shouting, yelling, and generally, melting down, in crowded malls, grocery stores, movie theaters, department stores, and other various locations. He does not have any interest in what others might think of this behavior. He is too wrapped up in the sensory overload to see.
He’s not like the NT kids that, when you introduce them to someone, they hide behind mom’s leg and peak out or shuffle and look down. If you introduce my kid to someone, for the most part, he will be looking the other way, completely distracted by something, anything else in the moment and not at all interested in the person being introduced. Basic bad ignoring.
If I run into a friend somewhere and she wants to chat, the little guy will grab my hand and start hoppy wiggling around and saying, “Bye (insert name here)!” This is followed by, “Wanna go to (insert toy store name here)” or wherever was in his pre-planned, pre-programme trip for the day (Target, grocery store).
So, while I love all two of the girlfriends I still have left post birth of the child (ahem – only partially kidding here), I can never stay and “chat” with them. The little guy did not have this written into the routine and, while he has learned to tolerate some unexpected changes of a minor duration or nature, he still gets quite fidgety and prone to outburst if I push that imaginary timeline too far into the chat zone.
The conversations that people attempt to engage me in during these moments where the child is pulling on my arm or pushing his boundaries now by starting to physically intentionally walk away toward his goal, are not ones I fully remember or hear. Sometimes, my friends will remind me how they’ve told me something the last time they saw me and I will not remember because I have to keep such a close eye on the little guy. Often I feel I’m taking a bull into a china shop when we are out in public.
Sometimes though, it is the opposite. My husband has a good friend who has a very gentle manner about him and my son is fascinated by him. He loves to talk to Dave and hang out with Daddy and Dave on those rare occasions Dave drops by. He does not want to leave Dave alone and will get all up in his personal space. So, we end up with the opposite problem. The little guy – instead of socially isolating himself – will not leave Dave alone and will get all up in his personal space. So, we end up with the opposite problem. The little guy gets too friendly.
I don’t know how much of this carries into the school environment. I don’t get reports that he is disrupting the class from the tutors. Often, I’m actually told he is one of the better behaved kids in the class.
He has been singing some of the songs he’s learned at his preschool recently at home. During his graduation ceremony, I noticed he was not singing much, but there were others who were not singing either. He was not avoiding it because he’s shy. He was not singing because there was so much going on and he was distracted.
There’s especially one line, he’s been singing repeatedly singing from a song at school. Apparently, it has something to do with phonics. The lyrics are now stuck in my head, “Eh- eh -inchworm, Nah- noodle, Ah-Ah-octopus, Ba-ba- ball.” It’s like this:
From what I’ve heard, this phonics song is supposed to be in alphabetical order. I’m so used to hearing it this way, I can’t imagine it any other. When I ask him to sing this he does the whole hand movement thing – which I think is supposed to be part of the song. I think. As soon as it was recorded, he was asking to watch it.
Like I said, he isn’t shy.