In Their Own Words – Imagination
This “In Their Own Words” is by Robin Alvarado, who has two children; her younger son has autism.
My three-year-old son was diagnosed with autism in November, 2009. Since then, he has been enrolled in special education preschool, therapies, etc., He was also classified as high-functioning. I must say my son has really come a long way these past eight months.
Although my six-year-old daughter is still young, and knows that her little brother is different than she is, she still views him as just that – her little brother. She is so compassionate with him, as if she is a little mommy. She loves to take care of him and is such a big helper to me.
She will also force him to play with her and interact with her. Not in a mean way, but in a way where he really has no other choice but to pay attention to her. I’m not sure that she understands why it is so difficult, but she still pushes him. Sometimes it will be overwhelming for him and I have to tell her to give him a minute to calm down, or that he needs a break. But she is so persistent. I’m not certain that she even realizes what she’s doing but I believe it is really good for him.
Last week, I was sitting in the living room watching TV and both my son and daughter came in the living room, dressed up in play clothes I have for her. She then introduced them as a prince and princess. I noticed that my son face looked as if he was having fun. He was smiling ear-to-ear. They then went back to her room. A few minutes later, they both walked in pretending they were ninjas. Believe it or not, my son was punching kicking the air, and making sound effects to go with the punches and kicks. He was doing imaginary play. That was huge for me to see. He has never done anything of the sort. EVER!!
I really believe that my daughter forcing him out of his comfort zone is doing him a world of good. If she can get him to participate in imaginary play, what else will she be able to get him to do? Thank God for my daughter.
“In Their Own Words” is a series within the Autism Speaks blog which shares the voices of people who have autism, as well as their loved ones. If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.