I know, I’m not the first or last parent dealing with issues such as this. I fully comprehend that I am standing on the shoulders of giants here. I’d just like to talk this through with you, if you’ll let me.
Autism and The concept of Time (or at least Kate’s autism). I preface that again, to remind you that no two children with autism are alike.
If a six year-old, or a sixty year-old for that matter, asked you to give them a definition of time, what would you say?
I have no idea, either.
Google gave me this:
While those definition are lovely, they do nothing for my daughter Kate. She is currently working very hard to comprehend the concept of time as it relates to her. She will work on its relation to other people when she gets a spare moment but first things first.
Time is fluid for Kate. That’s the only way I can manage to describe it. For example, when she draws a picture of her family, our ages don’t always match what we are at present. She likes to draw herself older than her sister (which is no surprise) and she likes to draw me young like a child with her. Her father gets be ‘old’ and sometimes even gets grandparent status in her drawings, ha!
Kate also asks about her birthday, every single day. Her birthday is in May. A few years ago when she began to comprehend that a birthday was like her very own toy party, she began asking for her birthday every single day after. No matter what I tried, I could not make her understand that there would be a long passage of time between her birthdays.
We are currently working on “sleeps” (as many parents do) and it sometimes seems to work. For example, I can say:
“Kate, there are four more sleeps before we go to the zoo” at which point the teenager in her will yell ‘that’s like 84 minutes!” And scream with disapproval.
As with everything else, these things (so far) will come in time. We are fortunate that way. For now, we will patiently count sleeps, read social stories and calm the anger and anxiety that 'time' creates as best we can
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)