A few days ago, I posted a video on my Facebook page from Special Books By Special Kids. What they talked about immediately hit me. It was about how everyone, no matter if they are neuro-diverse or otherwise have a desire for connection and community. I shared it because he is a fantastic example of a fantastic human being. He is patient, kind and open.
It really wasn’t until a couple of days later that I was thinking about what his friend/student was doing. He talked about how he was asking questions to which he already knew the answer. Why was he doing this? Chris talked about realising he was doing it to feel a connection. It was perhaps difficult for him ask questions and start a conversation about something in Chris’ world but he knew he could start a conversation with something he know about.
Mum. Mum. Mum. Mum. Mum.
It made me think a little more about Freddie. Anyone one who has ever spent any time with Freddie will know that he likes to talk. They will also know he likes to say their name A LOT. Once he has learnt it, thats it. I often find myself explaining, even when people have known him some time, that he loves to talk but he doesn’t have a lot of language. So, in order to communicate, he uses what he knows, over and over. It’s also how I explain it to myself when he has asked me for the 30th time that day “Where Daddy gone?” when he knows he is at work. The other one is in the car, asking me every time we change direction, “why go this way?” Argh – because its how we get to Grandmas/the pool/a friends house/the supermarket etc. The latest one is shouting at the top of his voice, “Hello Mummy, Hello Daddy, Hello Bella, Hello Jago” all at once even if we are not all with him. My boy has literally no volume control. Ha Ha.
Patience In Bundles
I have had to learn patience in bundles. Imagine being asked the same handful of questions over and over and over again, all day long. It is really hard work and a little bit like torture but I try to smile and answer him each time as if he hasn’t just asked me. I want to encourage him to use his language and increase it, which he is doing slowly but surely. Often though, when he asks “where Daddy gone?” I ask if he knows and he pretty much always does. Then we can start to elaborate on what he knows. I’ll ask him, who does he work with or has he gone in his car or in someone else’s? What colour is the car? etc. Then we can communicate on a deeper level.
Although I know all of this about Freddie and I encourage him to talk, I had never really thought about it being for connection. True connection and what that means to us as humans. I look at how our dog communicates with us with no human language and all the ways we know what he wants or needs. It’s a basic human desire to be connected. I can see that Freddie’s desire for connection and community is huge.
Funny how sometimes you see something but don’t truly see it at first. Freddie is rocking the human connection.