3 mins read

Ironic Autism Opposites

A post I read on the Internet made me think about the ironic opposites that sometimes exists in the autism world.

What was the post?

The post I saw was about autism and it related an opposite that (really) only people with autism knowledge would understand.

It compared a trait of some kids with autism—many stim by lining up objects. The ironic comparison was that while they “enjoy” this activity, most typically do not like to wait on lines.

Lines are orderly ways to move people, yet many kids with autism find it hard to do.

What others did I come up with?

Well, here’s one:

Many kids with autism get attached to objects. Often they are more attached to objects than they are to most people. Their primary focus is on an object or multiple objects which constricts their abilities to communicate with people.

Now, interestingly, the idea of multiple objects, can cause sensory overload in a child with autism.

Let’s say the child loves airplanes.

But, take that same child to a museum of airplanes—with not only airplanes but other airplane lovers, airplane-related games, information stations about the history of airplanes, and walls covered with everything airplanes.

That love of that object—airplanes—can suddenly become a sensory overload issue.

Another one is the fact that my son’s eyes are a beautiful, deep blue. However, I rarely get direct eye contact from him (unless we’re discussing something he really wants)

Any other ones?

Well, today was yet another ironic opposite.

After I came downstairs in the morning, my son gave me the news of the death of a very good, young baseball player. My husband and my son love baseball and both play fantasy baseball. My son gave me the news with a smile on his face.

I reminded him that the news he was giving me was bad news, he should not be smiling.

He knew what I was talking about, we have had this conversation in the past. He had to physically place his hand on his mouth to try to help his face remove the smile.

He also smiles when he’s nervous.

This is a problem we have worked on for years.

Additionally, a few minutes after he told us the news about the baseball player, he made a comment that, in my opinion, certainly falls into the autistic camp. When people play fantasy baseball, they “own” real players from all major league teams. It’s a mix of players from many teams that make up your fantasy team. My son “owned” this baseball players.

What was his comment?

He said to us that he had already replaced the deceased player on his fantasy team.

It’s not that my son is a “cold” person. He’s actually a very sweet child (perhaps with the exception of when he’s acting like a typical teenager.)

I think it’s more that it’s just business to him.

He feels, sometimes he feels things very deeply. But, sometimes it’s business first.

His autism—and those opposites—do pop their heads up from time to time. And, I recognize the irony. Even my son can recognize it, if it’s explained to him.

It’s those opposites that, to me, keep things interesting.


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