Last week¸ Cody went with Stephen on an outing to the park. When they came back, Stephen told me of an encounter Cody had with another individual who apparently had an intellectual disability where speech was limited as well. Stephen was very intrigued with the interaction that took place between them. It was without words.
I too have seen this kind of interaction with Cody and someone else who, for whatever reason, could not communicate verbally. Yet they still seemed to have this quiet understanding between them as to what information was being relayed back and forth.
Once we were all in a small café and the owner of the business happened to be the lady who took our order. Upon first glance at Cody, she didn’t know there was anything different about him. But when she began asking questions regarding what he would like to eat and drink it became very clear. She also had a daughter who experienced the same struggles with speech and language as Cody. And on this day, the daughter happened to be helping her mother in the kitchen at the restaurant.
The owner became very excited and said, “Oh my daughter needs to meet him! I’ll be right back!” And off she ran to the kitchen to get her.
A moment later she came back hand in hand with a young girl about the same age as Cody. This young lady had Down syndrome but her actions and mannerisms were very similar in nature to my son’s.
Upon being introduced to each other, the two shook hands. I watched them both as they looked at each other, both of them grinning ear to ear.
Cody was very excited and I could tell he wanted to giggle and it was taking tremendous effort for him to hold it back. The young lady was doing the same.
Finally, he said in a voice that waivered, “Hi … how are you?”
The young girl answered back in words that were barely audible. “Fine!” Then her grin grew even larger and she wrinkled her nose and looked down at the table. Cody could not contain his giggle anymore.
For several moments no words were spoken between the two of them. They looked at each other and Cody held his open hand up with fingers spread apart. Timidly, she put her hand up to his in the same fashion. Both of them laughed.
This kind of exchange went on for about three to four minutes and then the girl’s mother said to her, “Ok, I have to go back to work now!”
It was very interesting to watch. It was as if some telepathic conversation was taking place between this young lady and my son and only they were privy to what was being communicated. Was it?
It would not be the first time I have heard of such a thing among those on the autism spectrum. I once read a story written by a man who also had a son on the spectrum. He described his son’s interactions with his peers and co-workers in a local workshop where they lived, in much the same way. He said it was as though his son could simply hear the thoughts of the others there. Perhaps this sheds new light on gifts which people like Cody possess and the rest of us are simply too blind or too narrow-minded and closed-hearted to see and comprehend it. Who is to say they don’t possess it? Perhaps if this were true it might actually explain why they become irritable when we neurotypical types can see absolutely no reason for their irritability. And perhaps it might also explain some of the seemingly bizarre language patterns we often don’t understand.
I feel if we knew the full scope of what is involved in the thought patterns and brain functions of the autistic mind, we might all be in for a real awakening into the spirituality, intellectual abilities and philosophical reasoning that might put that of neurotypical counterparts to shame. Something so many refuse to believe to be possible!