Why Are We So Adultish?

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Last Sunday was potentially the best day ever on record.

I mean, if we ignore the fact that he told me to ‘go away’ when he first saw me. After that he was all hugs and kisses.

On the way to the swimming pool we played a real fun game: I pretend to put my hand in a holly bush and hurt myself and he grabs my hand and kisses it better. He thinks it is hilarious when I hurt myself. I try not to be offended.  And then we bowled into the swimming pool and pranced around and played chase and I pretended to be a shark and Sonny kept dunking my head under the water which was fun and also kind of dangerous because he had no concept of how long I could hold me breath for. I nearly drowned.

But it was worth it for the LOLs. We had all the LOLs.

When we were getting changed in the cubicles I could hear someone telling off a child for being silly, and they said, “Stop being so childish!” Meanwhile, in a changing room a few doors down, myself and Sonny were, instead of getting changed, emptied out a whole bottle of talcum powder with great force onto our heads and bodies. It got me thinking, why are we so quick to tell a child to stop being a child, yet we rarely tell another adult to stop being so adulty? As a society we respect adulthood far more than childhood.

  What I have grown to realise, is that adults are just children in disguise.

I feel conned by adulthood. Genuinely I feel like it is a hoax. When I was younger I used to think, “wow I can’t wait to be an adult! Look at them all, knowing about everything and being so wise and clever!”  And then you grow up and suddenly you are expected to be an adult. And you wish you were a kid again, putting mud in your hair or pretending to be a dog, instead of trying to get your head around interest rates and how best to remove a wine stain from the carpet.

So when did we all stop playing? And why? It is so fun. And so important, and the most efficient way to learn. And generally makes all involved very happy.

Sonny taught me that. He is really quite a good teacher, though I doubt he knows it.

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Double Trouble.

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Have I ever mentioned that Sonny has a twin?

Danny is on the left, and he also has autism. Yep. When they hold hands it’s like my brain can’t handle the cuteness level and I need to look away because otherwise my head will explode.

Their Dad and I took them both swimming on Sunday.

 Sonny spent most of the time underwater, but they both absolutely loved playing with their Dad (he is much better at throwing them in the water. I need to get to the gym!)

It is so lovely to see how happy they are when they are with their Dad in the pool, and it is so lovely to see parents who are so involved and accepting of their children.

Sonny and Danny’s parents always seem positive and happy and loving with their sons. Having two obviously means there can be a lot of challenging behaviour at home, but they take it in their stride. I haven’t once heard them complain about Sonny or Danny’s autism, and how it effects their lives. I know it must be difficult for them, but their love for their sons means they don’t dwell on the hard times, they just focus on the positives. They love them both unconditionally for who they are and try to understand and help as much as they can, without trying to ‘fix’ them or change them.

I look up to them both, and I admire their strength to be so accepting and loving, despite the struggles they face.

Basically they are both ace.

 

How Well Can You Know Someone With Limited Speech?

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Sonny can’t tell me why he gets upset. He confuses me when he bursts into laughter for no apparent reason, or is adamant that we go left instead of right. I don’t know his favourite colour or what he dreams about. I don’t really know how much he understands. However I feel I know him better than a lot of people in my life who are very much able to talk to me. And I kind of think he knows me better than most too.

Sonny and I, we experience a lot together. We experience a lot of feelings together. He can experience the extremes of anger or fear when he is confused or anxious. Not only his- but my emotions too- when he does something dangerous or turns an inanimate object into a weapon when we are out I show him I am angry so he doesn’t do it again. But I hardly ever shout. I just say how I am feeling in a calm way, which works a lot better for Sonny. He usually says sorry and kisses my hand. (What a charmer.)

In the last month or so he has started to use his words to tell me how he feels (on Sunday he said ‘Sonny is sad’ when we had to queue for ages at the swimming pool, and, ‘Sonny is happy’ when we were eating Mcdonalds. He has also been saying, ‘calm’ when he starts to gets stressed and takes some deep breaths (click here to see) and that actually works to calm him down.

Anyway what I am trying to get at is that we have a lot of feelings to deal with.

It is emotional work for both of us. And in a few relationships I have in my life we can talk and talk and talk but without really saying or expressing that much to the other. Sonny and I use a lot less words but say and express masses. And we listen and respond to those feelings.

Everything we feel, we express.

Everything that is expressed, is heard.

That is how we know each other.

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