Daniel is an unusual child. When he was little he was terrified of small children even, on occasion, to the point of screaming whenever they were around. This made life rather lonely for me at times since most of my friends also had small children. I used to draw story boards of the activities we had planned for the day and the trips we were intending to make, if any, and this helped quite a bit. I had a book of photographs of the other children we knew and showed it to him regularly.
He’s fantastic socially now and very popular at school, no doubt because he has a very cheery disposition. Most people don’t even realise he’s on the autistic spectrum and my life has become very easy by comparison. But there are some things he really struggles with. Spelling, for instance, and memorising Robert Burns 🙂 Here’s an example of a recent conversation I had with him:
Me: Spell “group”
Me: No, the next letter is a vowel and the vowels are a-e-i-o-u. Which one do you think it is?
Repeat this three times in the one conversation. I feel like banging my head on the ground at times like this and probably get more frustrated with him than I should. It feels a bit like this:
Except that Daniel is really good at maths. He just struggles with writing and spelling.
This afternoon as I was cycling home from school Daniel asked me what water is made of to which I replied hydrogen and oxygen. Then he said, but if hydrogen and oxygen float, how come water sinks? WTF? Sometimes they surprise us.