Written By: Amy Schlueter
A couple months ago I wrote here about Alex and empathy. How it’s starting to emerge more. But it’s definitely a work in progress.
Case in point……
Last week I had the opportunity to travel to England/Europe with my best friend from college.
Careful planning…..planes, lodging, trains and more trains, London Underground, sightseeing, etc.
Well, due to weather I missed my connection to London…..Amy(friend) did not miss the connection.
Off she goes and here I stay stateside.
While making new plane reservations it hits me.
Next thing I know I’m looking for a hotel room because there is NO WAY I can fly.
Fast forward a day and a half ….. I only got sicker and eventually had to wave the and surrender. I flew home. No trip for me.
I get home and explain things to Alex….here’s how it went….
I had to come home buddy. I’m too sick to travel.
“But when will you feel better?”
I’m sure in a few days but right now I just have to rest.
“When will you go to London?”
Not this trip bud. I just can’t.
“Will you go with Dad next Wednesday?”
Dad is going to go as scheduled but I will stay home with you.
“But when will you go again?”
(I think he’s concerned about me, but wait, there’s more…)
“But I want you to go”
I know bud but I can’t this time
He is getting visibly more upset and in dawns on me that he’s not upset that I missed my trip. He’s upset that he doesn’t get to have the house to “himself” for three weeks.
“But I want to take RIDES (transportation service) to Day Hab. I want Maddi to bring my food. I want Pippy to go away. “
I have messed up his mojo. He had his plan and I messed it up.
He’s a little sad that mom is sick but he’s WAAAY more worked up about his plans being changed.
This is what I mean when I say individuals with autism can lack empathy.
He always feels bad about things until they rock his world. Then it’s over.
So, he buries his head and cries a little and we talk it out. Hugs. Then I leave him alone for a bit.
He asks for me to make plans to go on more trips. Then he asks to make plans for he and I to go to Seattle together.
He’s processing everything.
All quiet again.
Then I hear from downstairs…..”Mom?”
“I’m trying to be understanding.”
I know you are bud.
That’s been his line for the past few days, but today on our way to Day Hab he says…..
“I sure did a great job at understanding, didn’t I mom? And I sure am glad you are feeling better.”
Now he’s worked it out. Things will be ok. He’s getting his mojo back.
We will have a great time together while Dad is gone.
Empathy…..sometimes slow to show itself but he truly tries.
Eventually works it through.
And melts our hearts.
To follow along with Alex’s story and view his amazing artwork, please visit https://www.alextheartist.com/