Today on the way home from school, Ethan asked me "Mommy, am I odd?" Such an expected question from a child with Autism/Asperger's...but yet, one I dread answering.
The truth is, yes he is odd! He can tell you as much as any paleontologist about dinosaurs...before that he learned everything about whales, sharks, dolphins and many other swimmy creatures. Before that, he knew everything about the Titanic and other historic oceanliners or ships...and before that it was Thomas the Tank Engine, which also lead to an extremely detailed history stored in his brain about all types of trains. So yes, he is a little odd...but so what?
I asked him why he asked me that...did someone say that to him? He said no, but that he realized he knew so much more about dinosaurs than everyone else in his class and that they just weren't interested in dinosaurs. There are so many things locked into his brain, I have no idea why he brought it up. But I feel strongly that he is seeing the difference for himself. He talks occasionally about how hard it is for him to make friends, to have a conversation at the lunch table, and to find a playmate on the playground. Although we do go to a social group once a week to learn some of these skills, it takes practice to get them down so he isn't so "odd."
My answer, "No honey, you're not odd. God made you to be the boy you are and you don't have to be like everyone else." His reply? "Mommy, sometimes it's ok to be odd, isn't it??"