Q:What does Hi Ming do when I'm not there?
A: He takes care of me so I'm not lonely.
Q: Who took the "W" off Michael's computer?
A: Elmo did
Q: What happens if I don't listen?
A: I'd be very sad and disappointed.
And so on, and so on. There are dozens of questions, all with a prescribed, "correct" answer. Dependent on the day (or the hour of a particularly trying day) or mood, we either go along happily or get frustrated and say something like, "You know the answer to these questions!"
But after watching a video from the amazingly fantastic Special Books by Special Kids, I came to my epiphany. (Click here for the video!) Luke is simply trying to engage me in communicating. He's looking for me to play my part in his scripted conversation - which is comforting, safe, and predictable. He wants me to be a part of his world and be an active participant in this. I should be thrilled and excited! Kids with an ASD diagnosis want the repetition because it's safe and comforting, and why shouldn't he want his mama to be a part of something that is safe and comforting? Here's a reasons why he might break out his trusty bag of questions:
- Inability or difficulty adequately communicating ideas via oral speech.
- Difficulty knowing how to initiate or maintain a conversation.
- Lack of other strategies for gaining attention in a positive way.
- Need for information.
- Need for reassurance.
- Need to escape a situation that is boring or unpleasant.
- Need to avoid transitioning to a new situation.
- Desire to be social.
- Need to be in control of the situation and/or attempt to keep the social interaction within his/her level of understanding.
- Fascination with predictable answers.
- Desire to demonstrate knowledge or competency by content of questions.
These ALL sound like Bear! It may seem like a "duh" moment - like, how could I as an ASD mom not even think this way up until now?