Expressions of Intent.

Andy has been a little challenging this week. Having ruled out anything obviously medical we were left scratching our heads. After observing and sharing experiences the consensus was that Andy may well be simply attempting to test out his ability to have more influence on his day to day events. He has been making a kind of moaning sound without really crying or becoming upset, in what appears to be just simply a way of expressing his displeasure if things are not going his way. On a more positive note he has been using gestures and objects of reference to make himself known e.g. bringing clothes to us to indicate he wants to go out. While still maintaining structure and some order we have also been trying to facilitate self expression also. To these ends we have been taking Andy for rambles around town and allowing him where possible to decide on where we go and what we do.
This was why I found myself out in town with Andy at teatime this week. Andy’s first stop was (as usual) Davi’s shop where he is comfortable and accepted. After some friendly interaction with Davi Andy chose some items to buy and off we went along the town. Next stop was the local supermarket where he had a browse without selecting anything apart from a hat from a young sales assistant, Alister, who was busy stocking the shelves. Alister could not have been more understanding and allowed Andy to put on the hat as we embarked on another lap of the store. Andy again did not show any particular interest in buying anything and decided to leave with the hat. Frances and Andrew, another two employees of the store made this situation much easier by picking up a pack of sandwiches Andy had thrown and allowing us to take the hat! When we got outside Andy decided to have a pee against the wall. I shielded him to provide some privacy and was relieved that no one made a fuss. We then walked to the other end of town. I reflected on events as Andy explored the various sights and textures of the high street. Compared with other “normal” families it can at times be awkward and difficult out and about with Andy. On the plus side generally people have been embracing and understanding of Andy and he usually brings out a positive response from people we meet. Ironically the most negative response was from a senior care professional who steadfastly refuses to acknowledge us in any capacity in public. (If this is a lofty attempt at professionalism it is one that risks presenting a confusing social message to people with ASD. We may just be a problematic case but we are also real people.)
For me just now life is filled with uncertainty, stress and at times emotional pain watching Andy’s struggles. A little kindness from those around us helps more than I can tell you.
I was happy to see Jen waiting to pick us up at the pier after dropping Helen at the Brownies.

2 thoughts on “Expressions of Intent.

  1. Duncan the peeing outside brought back a memory to me. My son was 4 and despite our best intentions peed outside. One day he did this outside a McDonalds. We went in and were confronted by this really angry man who accused my son at “flashing” at his son. He carried on even when I explained that my son had autism. It was one of those days where I had enough and burst into tears. We all have days like that. My son doesnt do that anymore. It is great to read about how accepting so many people are. It makes the world a better place. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Duncan I can only say Andy is a complete treasure and if anyone has,a problem with him, which I doubt, they are not worth worrying about. Such a gorgeous lad and so derful caring family.

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