So one of the realizations I’ve come to while I share our story is that it is a little sad and gray. Living with a child who has a Difficult Mind is sad and gray almost every day. BUT there are good days or at least good moments. So on a lighter note…
Many things about the Autism Spectrum are unexplained. One of them is that each child on the spectrum is their own diagnosis. Why does one child like being touched and another doesn’t? Why do some kids talk and some can’t? Why are some kids more ordered and some more distracted? There are a million questions with very few answers.
Amazingly enough our son is “high functioning” enough that he talks and reasons and learns ~ at a rapid rate.
It is hard to comprehend that our 7.5 year old still struggles with bathroom issues but can read at a 5th grade level. How does that happen?
We live in a world of explored brilliance. 1 + 1 =2. The end, that’s all. We understand structure and limitations and natural laws and so much more. We learn by being taught and applying those teachings. We pick up things from the people around us and apply them to the world as a whole.
My son lives in a world of unexplored brilliance. Nothing is real or right until he determines it is. He may learn by being taught (rarely), reading (often) or everyday encounter (often). He only grasps concepts that affect his life right now, the thought of anything outside himself doesn’t exist. He can watch a social situation play out and tell you all the details but he can not identify how the people in the moment may have felt. While this can be frustrating, it can also be amazing.
When you live in a world of unexplored brilliance you walk into a blank canvas every single day. Exploration and questions are constant. Ideas and applications are unique. It is a little like living with a mad scientist, they seem crazy but man are they brilliant!
In those days, in those moments, I find hope.
At the age of 7.5 my son would like to become a mechanical engineer so he can invent a real light saber (which he plans to sell to the Navy so they can “defeat everyone all the time”) and then when he’s done that, he plans to quit engineering and become a paleontologist, naturally.
Yes, it sounds crazy and the likelihood that this will be his real future is quite slim BUT, what if? What if he learns and retains so quickly that he becomes degreed in multiple disciplines? What if he invents something or discovers something that changes the world?
Unexplored brilliance could lead to amazing discovery.
On the hard days. The bad days. The sad days. I hold on to this.
We are all uniquely created, each one of us. Let’s not concede to the limited and ordered world of explored brilliance!
“Hope and sorrow in it all there’s rescue and there’s not.”
There’s Rescue: The ability to memorize, to think outside the box, to explore in different ways, it really is a gift. One we hope to encourage and make room for.
There’s Not: When you live outside the box it is very, very hard to understand and relate to everyone still in the box. Relationships may be a life long struggle.
Today I am thankful for the ability to see the world through a mind not my own and it is both my great joy and great lifes work to nurture that Difficult Mind.