An Interview and Scenes of a Typical Evening…

We started our evening blog post together with a short interview.  T has been interviewed for the blog before.  I think I will continue this from time to time because, after all, the blog is all about him.  Why not hear how a little regular evening conversation goes for us?

Here is my best Barbara Walters shot with my son.

Me: How old are you?

Son: Five.

Me: What is your favorite TV Show?

Son: “Twah…ah! Os-WALD.  Your Dodge.” (Yelling – and by the way, there is no show       called “Your Dodge.”)

Me: Do you like to read?

Son: “Yes.” (whispered)

Me: What is your favorite food?

Son: “Ice-cream.  The doc… It’s the doctor.”  (Someone on TV saying “Mmmm” which he associates with going to the doctor.  I have no idea how he made this connection but it’s ongoing for years now.)

Most of T’s self-initiated conversation with me comes in the form of questions but they are asked only so I will ask back.

Example: Son: “What color is that car?”

Me: “I don’t know.  What color is it?”

Son: “Blue.”

Or, as we worked on it today.

Son: “What color is it?”

Me: “Mommy, I know what color that car is.”

Son: “Mommy, I know what color that car is.”

Me: “What color is it?”

Son: “Blue.”

Then, in an attempt to engage me in conversation, he asks:

“Who is that name?”

“I don’t know.  Who is that?”  (Yeah, yeah.  I should’ve corrected him.  I’m not perfect.)

“Blue.” ( pointing to a blue car)

Later, he is watching TV.  Specifically, he is watching “Team Umizoomi”.  The thing about “Team Umizoomi”, a Nick Jr. show, is that when it first came on the air he was fascinated by it.  At the same time, the show, for whatever reason, was too much for him.  He would inevitably meltdown when watching it.  So the show became banned at our house.

Wearing Umi-Goggles...

Recently, we began watching it again.  Things have improved.  We can watch one or two episodes, meltdown free.  He even gets out his “Home Depot” goggles and calls them his “umi-goggles” along with the show’s call to put on the special goggles to see things.

But after a couple episodes, there are beginnings of meltdowns.  He says a word – maybe, for example, “umi-car”, the little car driven around by the characters, but he does not just say the word, he cries the word.  Then, I have to say, “Do you want me to turn it off?”  This is usually met with silence and the boo-boo face.  When I repeat the question, he says, “No.”  Then, with much effort, he calms himself.  I turn it off after that episode.  But this is some major progress.

Letting him play freely, this is some of the talk that goes on:

“Wanna go elevator.”  (Actually, that was a surprise.  He has not mentioned elevators much lately).

“What color is it?”

A minute or two pass…  Then, he begins singing and smiling.

Son: “Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog…”

Son: “Wanna watch Minnie Red Riding Hood.  (Handing me the remote) Minnie Red Riding Hood.”

Me:  How do you ask?

Son: “Please watch Minnie Red Riding Hood!”

Me:  “Mama…”

Son: “Mama, may I please watch Minnie Red Riding Hood?”

Me:  Yes.

Mickey is jilted for the boxed truck...

Once the show is on, he promptly runs out of the room to his closet, brings out a truck and ignores the TV altogether.  The next 5 or 10 minutes are spent with his face inches from the headlights and tail lights of his truck.  Many of his toys remain in the box in which they come.  I believe this has to do with fear and control.

His attention is shifted back to the TV when Mickey begins to sing his goodbye song.  He stands up, lifts his shirt up partially and pokes at his belly button while arching his back.  This is a not so new stim for him.  It goes on daily probably 10-15 times a day.

“Yiiii-ehhhhh!”  He exclaims this in response to nothing of particular interest. (This is a moderate volume – luckily for my nerves.)

Independently, he decides to put away his truck!

Returning, he seeks the remote control for the TiVo so he can rewind his episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  (Why, oh why did they ever make this program?  It is truly the bain of my existence.)

While distracted, on the third run of Mickey, the TiVo recorded episode ends.  The screen goes black, except for the TiVo asking if I wish to delete the recording.  (Oh, how much I wish to delete the recording but alas, I cannot.)  Seeing that come on the screen, T runs up to the TV, stands on a table and reaches up to turn it off.  “Turn off the TV!” he exclaims twice.  Apparently, the black screen with the question results with an overwhelming desire on his part that the TV be turned off.  He turns it off and steps down from the table.

He looks at me.

“Wanna watch again.”

And, there you have it.  A couple scenes from a typical evening.  We are not the Cleavers.  We are not communicating in a typical fashion.  Doesn’t matter to me.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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8 Responses to An Interview and Scenes of a Typical Evening…

  1. Teresa says:

    Your description of television watching reminded me of a younger Matthew. He used to L O V E the Power Rangers. I managed to never learn their names, only their colors… sister as much better knowing who was who. But every single episode Matthew would completely fall apart when the battle became tense and just before the Power Rangers would manage to beat up the bad guy. Often if I was paying attention we would stop watching it ten minutes before it was over, just to avoid the stress. These kids of ours.
    One other thing I was reminded of was how Matthew used to drive me nuts watching TV, listening to his tapes and playing with a toy. Too much activity for me so I would shut something off. Only to find out that he was actually listening to all the shows and tapes and somehow could process them all together. My brain still doesn’t work that way.

    • solodialogue says:

      I just hate the moment when they tense up and become upset!! I wish they did not have that stress or that they could communicate why… I totally know what you mean about shutting it off only to find they were multi-tasking the whole time (talented and sneaky!)

  2. Wow…. what a glimpse into your life with T! The more I get to know him, the more I see what an amazing little boy he is.

    Little Miss is also a DIE-HARD fan of Mickey Mouse Club House. Ugh. At least it’s better than Dora! As soon as someone sits down in the living room, she says “I want Mickey Mouse!” in that sing-song voice of hers. With football season upon us, this has created more than a little commotion in the family and my husband is now trying to teach her that she needs to take turns with the TV. LOL. Sure enough, I still catch them watching way more MMCH than football 😉

    • solodialogue says:

      Hmmm, Dora or Mickey? Decisions, decisions… No little tiny separate TV for Little Miss? We have one that has saved us quite a few disputes! And T hooks up his Smart Cycle or PacMan and I can watch – oh, say – 5-10 minutes of “big girl” TV…. 😉

  3. Aspie Mom says:

    I can’t imagine a better way to really focus on something when I’m overstimulated, than to put my face into my favorite truck!! What a clever guy!
    I used to walk/swing my son in circles when I really HAD to get him to focus and give me some kind of answer NOW.

  4. ElizOF says:

    I’m curious about why that Umi show has such an effect on him. Is it all those psychedelic colors? Or is it something else? Great interview… 🙂

    • solodialogue says:

      I’m curious too! I have no idea what it is but now you have me wondering if the colors could have something to do with it!! Great observation – he is highly sensitive to color… Thanks Elizabeth!

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