Thursday, May 19, 2011
An Aubservant Autist
After about 45 minutes of glorious and uneventful shopping, we went through the checkout, also meltdown free. We parked the 'race car cart' and headed out the door, groceries in tow. Ashi was now walking beside me.
Outside, the rain had stopped. We were greeted with plenty of city noise and fresh sunrays that glare off metal car parts, and massive rain puddles. All of Ashi's focus immediately drained from her body and she was now driven by her need to explore all things off our intended path.
The parking lot was full vehicles backing out, unaware of little people. Other cars were searching for a place to land. Large, yawning potholes full of water, waiting to swallow little girls, and strangers of every kind milled about. I was doing the familiar dance of loading our groceries, while trying to protect my daughter. I gently encompassed her body and playfully steered her back while chiding her, "Ashi, you have to be more observant!" Full of wonder she asked, "observant of what?" I pointed out, "you have to watch for all these cars and potholes, people, and all these puddles, silly!"
I safely locked her seatbelt, strapped myself down, and pulled away to head home. While driving I struck up a friendly dialogue. "So, did you have fun at the store?" Ashi sweetly answered, "Yes. Mommy, I observed all the sections." I questioned her, "the sections?"
And this is what she methodically, yet conversationally recounted to me: "Produce. Italian. Chinese. Kitchen. Delicatessen. Bakery. Seafood. Butchershop. Dairy. Poultry. Fresh Flowers. Digital Photo. Health Market. Pharmacy. Pets. Baby. Customer Service. Thank you for shopping Hyvee. Visit us at Hyvee dot com." I stared at her wide-eyed and rejoiced, "you're right! That was very observant. You are observant!" We laughed together, big belly laughs.
Ironically, she repeated her observations to me an hour later when I decided what a great blog it would make and wanted to put them on a list. I double checked against my grocery list - just to see - and my suspicions were confirmed. This was also the exact order we did our shopping. Did I mention I LOVE AUTISTS!!
Like a cumulous cloud, she stored up the meltdown for later that day when I rearranged the living room. She burst, the storm came, and I'm pretty sure she had the longest recorded meltdown to date!
Annie Eskeldson writes for families of very, young autists at http://www.ashisgift.blogspot.com/. She has two published children's books that also nurture parents that can be found at http://www.authorannie.com/