Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Break Up

Our kids amaze me daily. Tonight, Ethan and Emery received a call from their cousin Sara. Sara lives in the south-east metro area but still makes the drive all the way here a few times a year just to see the kids. About a year ago, Sara and then-boyfriend Jake came to visit. They played with the kids and brought gifts and had a nice weekend.
When Ethan got on the phone tonight, the first thing he said was, "Hi Sara. I have a question for you." He then said, "How's Jake doing?". Then came, "You know, Jake, your boyfriend." And then, "You broke up? Why, what happened?"
You may be asking yourself, "When is the amazing part?" Well, I am always amazed when Ethan makes a small step forward with interpersonal interactions. Ethan's Asperger's Syndrome constantly affects his conversing with people. In the past, Ethan would have only talked about his interests, or if someone would change the subject, he would try to steer the conversation back to his topic. If he would have heard of his cousin's break-up then, he would have probably said, "Oh,.... did you know that I have 4 light sabers?"
Ethan has made great progress with some wonderful teachers and therapists. They work on empathy and trying to know what the other person is feeling. These are two things that Asperger's kids need to study and learn. We still have to work on which topics are OK to talk about and which ones may be social awkward or offensive. But, just to hear him carry on a conversation with someone, about their interests and actually wanting to know more about them, is an exciting accomplishment.
Our daughter, Emery, has no problem with conversation. The only challenge with her is getting a word in edgewise. When Ethan was done, it was Emery's turn to talk. The first thing she asked Sara was, "Did you and Jake break up?", from listening to Ethan's conversation. Then Emery said, "I remember when you and Jake were here and he gave me two dollars."

Amazingly subtle, isn't she?


Deb said...

Great story! I feel I learn a little more each time you tell an Ethan story. He is a great kid!!

susie said...

I love to read your blogs and each time I do I am inspired to write in my own....maybe later. You never know what is going to come out of kids mouths, you forgot to mention that Ethan was going to find a new boyfriend for Sara, I think he was going to surf the web or something, you better watch out.

delightful-d said...

Yes, you've got that right about not knowing what will come out of his mouth.

WE are doing our best to teach him the "appropriate" talk but as you know, Ethan will be Ethan! He takes bits and pieces and makes his own story of things. Oh well... that is part of him and we love him no matter what~ said or unsaid - he's unique and WE wouldn't change a thing!

Like he said to me yesterday..(he put his hands on my cheeks to give me a kiss) I said "Ethan, your hands are freezing". He replied, "yep, my hands are cold but my heart is warm with love for you". Yes, I had tears! :)

Thanks for all your great comments and support!

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.