My autistic son is becoming increasingly aware that he lives at a different frequency than most of us. Part of me is very excited that he has the ability to start have this type of awareness - but there is another part of me that is sad because I don't want him to interpret any of his uniqeness as being "broken" or "lesser" than anyone else who draws breath.
Last night he asked me out of the blue "Why am I different and weird?"
"You're not weird!" I proclaimed in what I'm sure was a very defensive tone.
"Yes, I am. I'm just different." Noah said calmly.
I asked him to provide me with examples of how he considered himself "weird or different". He then gave me a litany of behaviors that separate him from his peers. For example he spoke about how he is the only one in his school who keeps flapping his hands or has to have a weighted vest that provides deep pressure on his body to help him relax.
When he was done he said "So that's why I'm weird."
Again, I bristled at that. "No your not. You are just unique."
"Nope" Noah said while putting away his backpack. "I'm weird...Just like you."
I laughed. He is right. I'm a weirdo. I have a hard time fitting in. I'm a warped Lincoln Log that has to be forced to connect with anything else.
"So why are we weird?" He asked me.
I really had no answer to give him. I wanted to say something brilant - but I just answered him with a string of cliché's that read like a Hallmark Card.
Later that night when I was writing it came to me. My Noah loves music and I found a reference that I think he can easily connect with. So I wrote him a quick note that I placed on his pillow so he could read it when he woke up.
"The world sings in melody. The weird sing the harmony. We all need each other."
Still not sure what the hell that really means. But he gave me a big hug this morning after breakfast which was really nice. After all, us weirdo's need to stick together. Right?