Although AC is verbal we still sometimes have difficulty figuring out what she is trying to tell us. This past weekend AC asked me to make her balloon animals. Sadly I’m a bit lacking in the fine art of making balloon animals. So the first order of business was to set the expectations low; really low. My first dog didn’t look much like a dog; more like a piece of modern art. However, AC seemed fine with my attempt. Next was an elephant, yeah right, I managed to create some limbs and told her it was a seal. Again AC accepted my balloon creation; obviously her imagination is better than mine. After that Mrs. SuperDad and I took turns creating balloon animals for AC. However, a bit later in the evening AC began asking us to make her a “trash boat”. Neither Mrs. SuperDad nor I had any clue what she meant by a “trash boat”. We assumed she wasn’t talking about an actual trash barge so we asked if she could show us. About 30 seconds later she comes back with a book called “Our Century in Pictures” and turned to a page showing an illustration of the Titanic sinking. So “trash boat” means the Titanic. Unfortunately, knowing what “trash boat” meant didn’t give me or Mrs. SuperDad the magical ability to make a balloon recreation of the Titanic.
I’m amazed when I think about how differently AC sees the world. In her world the Titanic is a broken (aka. trash) boat. Obviously, she doesn’t understand the terrible loss of life that occurred she simply understands that broken things are trash. In my opinion it is this “different” thinking that may someday allow us to solve problems where our more “conventional” thinking has failed. Imagine a world where autistic adults are sought for their unique way of solving problems. Perhaps diseases such as cancer or AIDS could be cured. Honestly I don’t know, but I do know that we have a lot of autistic children that can and want to be participating members of society. If we are just going to write them off or limit them based on our preconceived ideas not only are we doing them a disservice, but humanity. So my question to everyone is if we can imagine this world can’t we make it a reality?