Of course the autistic kid in the new Fox series, Touch, is a genius. It is good for ratings. He may not speak, but he's off the charts with numbers, their connection to the universe and is possibly psychic!
Honestly though, they're not Rainman. Not even close. Remember Rainman, despite his incredible ability to count toothpicks, was living in an assisted care community and could not take care of himself. Most autistic people are not savants, not even close.
And Rainman, like Touch, is fiction.
Once in awhile I post about my son and his challenges on Facebook, and get some off the rails responses. "Let him sit at the table, he'll eat when he's hungry" or a link to a behavioral training course that will cure the 'defiant child' for parents that specifically states it's not for children who are severely autistic or non-verbal. Sure, their hearts are in the right place, even if they're not paying attention past clicking "like" on everyone of your status updates.
Even if I know I'm wrong Aspberger's and Autism are two different things. With Aspberger's as a malignant mole on your ass that is easily treatable and the autism my kid has being stage four colon cancer. It's an extreme analogy, but it's all I have today.
It's been a rough couple of weeks with my son. Maybe I'm magnifying it with holiday stress and my own issues but his OT at the feeding clinic has reached the end of her ability to help him. I appreciate her honesty. So we're made another appointment with a behavioral psychologist. I have no idea how much his Grandmother's death has affected him. His mother's world has had some serious upheaval in the last couple of months. They're moving into Grandma's house, which is a good move for them, and out of the sketchy apartment complex.
Meanwhile someone who does pay attention to my Facebook updates hooked me up to another doctor who deals with feeding behaviors. We had a great phone conversation. He was very compassionate and gave me some good advice and confidence. I'll follow up with him in a couple of weeks.
I'm trying to get my son to use language more, to be specific in what he wants. He gets into asking, straining before finally pushing out three words.
So much is happening in that brain of his and it is so hard for him to filter it properly.
Unfortunately, like the kid on Touch, he's not able to give me the winning lottery numbers. Luckily he's not climbing cell phone towers at 3:18. My wife thinks the Autistic Child with "Abilities" is going to take over what was formerly the place of the Magical Negro in popular culture. We're all going to get lessons in life from the silent autistic child who does not like to be touched. So sad and poignant. A long as the ratings are high we'll see more of this, and will continue to ignore what will happen to these autistic kids as they become adults.
In closing this rant we had this honestly charming piece of real life magic this morning. My wife needed a tissue and asked him to get her one. He picked up his shoes instead.