3 mins read

Things Kids with Autism May Miss

“Mommy, I forgot.”

Said with a sheepish smile on his face.

I often wonder about this autism thing my son has when it relates to things that many other kids would find “simpler.”

What is an example of something considered to be “simple?”

The difference between right and left.

My son is twelve and I often ask him something that has to do with right or left.

Most of time, he has to pause and think about it.

At age twelve?

What do I think is going on?

My son is not academically challenged. But, his mind is often “somewhere else.”

First of all, I think he’s just not focusing on the question.

Second of all, I do feel like he forgots this “simple” thing. “Where is my right again?” “Oh, wait, it’s not that one, it’s this one.”

Remember, so much of our kids have learned behavior. And, with my son, his mind is so incredibly occupied (probably) 99% of the time.

With the issue of remembering right verses left, I’ll watch him actually have to think about it.

It’s not natural for him to quickly know.

On top of that, he generally responds questions/commands, etc. three seconds slower than a typical child. I’m used to waiting.

Finally, I’m guessing this is minor issue yet another part of his autism.

For example, he’s not very athletically inclined. He’s entering middle school next week and we have had many discussion about electives in middle and high school.

He’s really into baseball right now and has told me that he’d love to play on the high school baseball team.

Now, this is where I have to be gentle. But honest.

“Well, baseball players at that age have worked for years at playing. It’s a lot of hard work. You’d have to start practicing a lot right now. We can work with you and you can go ahead and try.” (In my head I’m thinking, “He doesn’t even know how to catch a fly ball. He’s afraid of the ball.”)
But, also in my head I’m thinking, “Sometimes he throws ball right handed, and sometimes with his left.”

When I ask him which one is more comfortable, throwing with your right hand or throwing with your left hand, he looks like he doesn’t always know the answer.

Is this a big deal?

I don’t think so. If anything, it’s a blip on his autistic radar.

He’s probably not going to be a baseball player. We’re hoping he gets into golf, swimming, tennis, those kind of sports would be fun and suit him better.

And, if he becomes a famous astrophysicist and he’s happy and well-grounded, who really cares if he has trouble remembering right or left.

More on Kimberly Kaplan:
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