“Does he have brain damage?” -How kids view autistic behavior.

Yesterday, as my family took a stroll around the block looking for our mischievous little cat we ran into an 8 yr old girl neighbour who looked bored and appeared to find my gang of boys fairly amusing.

“I know LIncoln from school” she announces.
“Oh, are you in his class?”
“No, I’m eight. I’m in Mrs S class. Lincoln stood up in the ‘Jump rope for Heart’ assembly and said “BOOOOO-RING!”
I grinned. He did, we got a note home about it.
“Was it? boring, I mean…” I ask the girl as she rides her bike slowly beside my troop as we creep down the sidewalk.
“Um, no. There was a 5 year old girl in it (she touches her chest where your heart would be found) and she had heart problems. I raised $2500 dollars. I think.”
“WOW! great job” I am pretty sure it is more like $25 maybe $250. but hey! who am I to correct. I smile pleasantly.
“As we near the pond where we had been told our cat was sighted Lincoln dashes off ahead and so does my Husband with a kid or two in tow.
“Does he have, like, brain damage or something?” the girl asks quizzically.
I don’t miss a beat. “No, Autism”
“Oh” she responds matter of fact “My brother has that.”
“How old is he?”
“Ten”
And that is it. Conversation over.
My Husband asked if it bothered me. I had to take a little while to think about it but it really didn’t.

See, at 8, you ask the questions everyone else thinks. She wondered if his brain functioned differently the you or I and really, how ever harsh that sounds, it kind of is true. Autistic minds think differently. No, they are not damaged, but they are different and as research is proving, differently wired.

When we left the pond and worked our way toward home the girl looked up at me and said with a grin “you know, Lincoln tried to kiss me last week and another girl at school”
I tried to contain it, but I smiled like a Cheshire cat. “well, you know, that is what kids do in grade 1”

And it is.

He is a typical kid in a lot of ways. Some things just don’t change 🙂

Have a great week FOLKS!!

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2 thoughts on ““Does he have brain damage?” -How kids view autistic behavior.

  1. Your story was beautiful. I could tell that the girl asked in the most innocent way, no judgment intended.
    Although kids are commonly more blunt than adults, their hearts can also be more open than those of adults. You handled it exactly right. Your response reached out and touched the future. I smile widely as I write this.

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