Perspective can be a difficult things for kids on the autism spectrum. Ryan interprets the world so literally that it can be hard for him to see beyond what’s immediately in front of him.
But not always.
This wasn’t exactly a relaxing weekend in my house. The return of the NHL from a four-month lockout has been keeping me busy during all my waking hours, and sometimes beyond. Ryan understands this, and he knows (and appreciates) the reason for it.
And yet … he wanted some time with dad. After amusing himself for hours he came up to where I was working on my laptop and asked, ever so politely, “Dad, will you have some time to play Wii golf with me?”
Patience is not easy for Ryan. When he asks for things, he generally asks for them RIGHT NOW. Again — it’s the perspective thing. I believe he is so focused on what’s right in front of him that he often fails to look beyond the here and now. But here he was, aware that I was busy, and yet finding a way to politely ask for a bit of my time.
This request was a little different. He recognized the situation and made accommodation for it — perspective.
How could I say no? I promised we would play. He asked me when, and didn’t flinch when I said it would be more than an hour.
I went back to what I was doing, and he asked after me a few times. When I had a break, I told him I was ready, and we proceeded to play nine holes. It wasn’t long — maybe 30 minutes — before I was back to my laptop. He accepted that I had to back to work and didn’t complain.
It took so little of my time to honor his request, and it was one of the more enjoyable portions of my day.
Ryan kept things in perspective, and at the same time, helped me find a little.