Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Don't touch me

My son Tiger has autism, and has some quirks about him to say the least. Some of them are strange, but also funny. Like he only wants to be touched on his own terms. If I so much as touch his arm and he didn't like it, he touches it in reverse. If I kiss him he wipes it off. He doesn't get upset, he just does it very matter of factly. He does this everytime.
Then there are days when he wants to be touched. He will take my hand and put it on his so I can rub it.Or he'll take my hand to rub his head. Or he will go for a big bear hug. But those days are rare. He will sometimes give you a kiss when you ask, but , again, only when he wants to.

I was waiting in line the other day at a restaurant, looking up at the enormous menu. I didn't notice there was a 3rd cashier waiting til the woman behind me poked me on the shoulder! I couldn't believe how rude that was. How dare she !!! I was so flabbergasted I couldn't say a thing. I was seriously hacked. And of course her order was to go, so by the time I got myself together there was nothing I could do about it but sit there and feel violated.

A few hours later I looked over at my son and suddenly it hit me how he must feel. So many of his weird quirks are also my weird quirks, but to the extreme. Does he feel that way when he's touched? Are we invaders of his personal space? I guess until he learns to talk I will never know.

I long for the day he tells me he loves me. He has spoken here and there, in frustrated , halting baby talk. He struggles to get it out. And then, other times it rolls right of his tongue. Like one year at Christmas I had been gone half the day at the airport. I got back late at night, but he saw me and said, "Mommy!" WOW!! Beautiful! That was 2 years ago.Last year he and his dad were play wrestling/tickling on the floor, and he said, "Get off me!" Clear as day. We laughed for half an hour.

He was 2 when we noticed there was something wrong. He didn't speak, didn't point, didn't play with toys right. He lined things up, by color or size. The teachers and therapists were perplexed because he was too affectionate to be Autistic. I am thankful for his affection every day, no matter how it comes.