One core aspect of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is social dysfunction.
That would make sense since my son has delays and difficulty picking up verbal communication skills. He some times can read non-verbal cues though, like when I put on the “You better stop it!” face, but still struggles on understanding most non-verbal cues.
Kyson also has some overwhelming sensory inputs. He hates the sound of motorized toys such as a remote control car.
Combinations of all these traits make it enormously difficult for ASD children to acquire basic social skills that we take for granted.
This also makes a lot of sense that he would prefer to play by himself or that he would need a break from all the noise in large settings.
A mother’s intuition perhaps but it’s like I can literally feel his nervous system being shocked non-stop. Even with all that said, Kyson has overcome so many struggles, he is my example of what strength is.
A New Friend
One thing Kyson really enjoys is running, he loves to run. He also likes to lead. Recently on our walks, if I get ahead of him, he will stick his arm out to push me back a bit so he can lead the way. What used to be such a usual path has now really become unusual.
A few weekends ago, Kyson met a new friend at one of our family gatherings. The boy was the exact same age. The playing started with all the kids just running together around in the yard but once they scattered throughout, that was his chance. Kyson goes and taps him on the shoulder,
“Chase me!” Kyson shouts,
without hesitation, the boy starts to chase Kyson. They ran around together the entire evening with breaks in between as all the kids would come together again to hang out. Kyson didn’t even know his name, but I helped him and soon he was calling his friend by name and then…Chase Me!
Social Skills Growing
I’ve never seen him interact so much as I saw that day. I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures. It’s a memory that will last forever. It was like Kyson’s first actual real playdate! Also, the fact that it was with someone he’s never met before.
The entire day was spent outdoors with peers of his own age. Running, shouting, but still taking small breaks to himself. After his breaks, he’d go right back to the group. As the hours passed, his small breaks weren’t so distant anymore. I notice he would take his break playing by himself but alongside the group of kids.
Definitely a proud Mom Moment, I couldn’t wait to tell his ABA Therapist (and I did).
His Favorite Line
“Chase me!” Kyson tells the dogs. We’ve also been visiting my Aunt’s place quite a bit too. She has 3 little dogs, and each time it takes a few seconds for him to warm up to the dogs. Once he remembers their names, Kyson will say his new favorite line. So everyone and anything that moves gets a “Chase Me!” from Kyson.
He’s so silly, sometimes he will say “woof, woof” at the dogs thinking they understand him. I guess that was bound to happen. At the beginning when Kyson first started therapy, to grow his language, we would ask,
“What does a dog say?” or, “What says woof?”
Children have such great minds!