I wish I had read this book years ago: Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, by Ellen Notbohm. It would have enhanced my relationship with my grandchild who has Autism. Now I get it! No wonder he is uncomfortable and retreats to his bedroom; he probably can’t stand the noise in the room. Now I can sit back, relax and enjoy the moments he chooses to be in my presence, either at the table, or outside in the yard. We can sit in the present moment.
I now understand why he loves Macaroni and Cheese. He takes great delight in receiving a box for a gift and I make sure he doesn’t see it until there is an immediate opportunity for it to be cooked and consumed. I even secretly give the gift to his parents or brother to hide for an appropriate time or even another day. I no longer have to see him open it and disrupt everything. My joy is a lot like being a secret Santa. I know that whenever he receives it he will be as joyful as a Cub fan sitting at the World Series. I want to make this clear to all who care deeply about a child with Autism: do not rush out and by boxes of Macaroni and Cheese. That is not the secret to pleasing your special loved one; that is only one of my grandchild’s preferences.
All children are different, even children with Autism. As a result of reading this book I now observe how he behaves and remember what clues I picked up from Notbohm about Autism. Then I can start to unravel how I can attempt to communicate effectively in the future. This book gives me hope!