He Isn’t Ignoring You: He Just Has Autism!

Something struck me last night while sitting at the dinner table with my kids. My younger son told me a story of how his older brother ignored someone and was rude as they were walking into school a couple of days ago. Of course I wanted to hear the whole story and he went on to explain that another student was at the entrance of the school and told them that there was a one hour delay(yeah, that is right…we missed it on the radio and television). He explained that Cody(his older brother) just didn’t say anything and kept on walking. He thought this was very rude and he is right and it is rude if you are a typical member of society and someone speaks to you and you just ignore them. Damn right it’s rude. But, this was a teaching moment for me. I took a deep breath and told him he was right, but reminded him(as I often have to) that his brother has autism(yes, we live with autism as a family-not just Cody, but all of us) and that he doesn’t get the social “cues” that rest of us get or at least that we should get because let’s face it, there are many “typical” fifteen year olds who will ignore you and it is simply because they are rude(oh, that is a post for another day). Social cues? Huh? I just used a phrase that was a bit over the head of my eleven year old. But, here is where we continue to teach and learn because even though he has been his brother for the last eleven years, he still has his own struggles to go through and wishes that he could have an older sibling that didn’t have autism.
I continued to explain that the other student would have needed to stop Cody, get his attention, and look at him in the eye if he wanted Cody to acknowledge that he was speaking to him. Unlike the rest of us who hopefully just get it when someone makes an “announcement” of sorts.
So maybe it sounds like a lot more effort to connect with a person with autism and it may even feel uncomfortable, but I can assure you, it impresses me when I see it. There have been a handful of people in my son’s life that make an “on purpose” effort to connect with him and acknowledge him. As his Mom, this is a priceless gift.
So, make an effort(with anyone), I dare you!

Comments

  1. What a great reminder that perhaps when someone doesn't thank you for holding the door open, that maybe they aren't just being rude. I think if we all took a little more time to connect with those around us we'd be in a much happier place. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Your post made me tear up as my son, too, has Aspergers syndrome, a mild form of autism. We, too, go through these social experiences all the time. God bless your sons – both of them, as well as the rest of your family!

    -Gina :o)

  3. suzanne says:

    What a great reminder that perhaps when someone doesn't thank you for holding the door open, that maybe they aren't just being rude. I think if we all took a little more time to connect with those around us we'd be in a much happier place. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Hi you have a greate site It was very easy to post I enjoyed your site

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