It’s brutal, to be honest, to watch Kate become confused. Though I’ve little experience with Alzheimer’s patients, it occurs to me that there might be a strong similarity, at times. Surely, there is some research in this area. I’ll have to check, at another time. Tonight, I sit instead, and try to imagine myself in Kate’s world.
Sure, she’s painfully literal, and rarely gets our references, but those things are often the things that television writer’s use to ensure a giggle and to let us know the character has autism of some kind. It’s surface stuff. Those are the things that we can usually find the funny in. Thankfully, because the funny is so very important.
However, Kate’s confusion is not funny. It’s not a one-liner on a sitcom or the fact that you must be careful not to ask her to ‘hold her horses, or keep an eye on something. It’s more than that. It can be absolutely devastating.
It’s about the lens through which she sees the world. A lens which changes the most basic of social interactions into bizarre rituals that intimidate and mystify.
It’s about the connections she cannot make, though she tries because she would love to have a best friend to play with even if she doesn’t always understand the game.
It’s about her desperate attempt to understand the concept of time and her anger that her birthday doesn’t come back to her soon enough.
It’s about the confusion that scares her when she works herself into a meltdown over things that just don’t make sense.
And I hope, so much, that we are helping Kate navigate all these things in all the ways that she needs.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)