Autism Awareness Month – Day Sixteen

His went to his grandfather’s for a short visit. His grandfather will work on projects around the house and he’ll watch while they chat. Today’s project is lawnmower repair, so his job will be getting the tool from the toolbox to his grandfather’s hand and then returning it to the box. His grandfather has a special talent for engaging whatever the current topic of perseveration is while I change the subject or ask stupid questions. “Do you think their armor smelled like sweat and urine?”

When he was younger and obsessed with all things space, I tried to learn new things to add to the endless chatter about a single topic. He always knew it already.

Autism Awareness Month – Day Thirteen

He has spent the day talking to a headset while staring at a monitor. It is what he is doing right now. His youngest brother likes to doodle. Today’s doodles:

The youngest child drew a picture of his big brother.

A photo posted by Cathy McCaughan (@cathymccaughan) on

He also captured the reaction when mom cleaned the room.

A photo posted by Cathy McCaughan (@cathymccaughan) on

Autism Awareness Month – Day Twelve

He had to be at work at 11:30 this morning, so he was ready to leave the house at exactly that time. When he came home from work, he picked apart every bit of trash to make sure nothing of his was thrown away when I cleaned in his room today. He complained about me collecting his dirty laundry from his bedroom floor every day. “Sometimes, you wash clothes that I was planning to wear after my shift.” He is currently grumbling that his computer is offline and I must have unplugged something when I was cleaning his room. He should be in a better mood tomorrow. It’s his day off work.

Autism Awareness Month – Day Eleven

Today was a noon until 8 pm shift. Consequently, he stepped out the door of our house at exactly noon. It is mystifying how his tardiness can be so exact, yet unpreventable. Now that he is home with an entire evening of gaming ahead of him, he is cheerful. He still prefers the night shift that has him home after midnight. Knowing his routines and preferences is easy. Understanding them requires a logic shift.

Autism Awareness Month – Day Nine

No work today. This could have been a day of hibernation. It wasn’t. He woke at 2 and began what he thought would be a lengthy gaming marathon. After a few hours on the computer, his game stopped abruptly when a younger sibling accidentally stepped on his power strip and he, “lost all that work.” Once upon a time, this would have caused an epic rage monster meltdown. That didn’t happen. Instead, a softly whispered rant that includes the colorful metaphors often heard during MMOGs began and has yet to stop. I liked it better when he copied his vocabulary from books.

Autism Awareness Month – Day Eight

He slept until 2. I drove him to work at 5. His manager will drop him off at the entrance to the neighborhood sometime after midnight and he will walk home to spend many hours gaming.

This is the norm. If I ask nothing of him, stay away from his nest and provide clean work clothes, life is calm. At the same time, I am allowing him to avoid personal growth. I know he can learn new habits. I know he should get out of the house for more than work. Not rocking the boat is peace. It is also stagnation.