Someone like me

Today I had a new thing happened. For the first time ever I had a conversation with someone like me. I have not met anyone like me before, and I don’t normally have conversations even with people I do know. What do I mean like me? I mean someone on my level. I have had 4 people in my life (3 in person) that I thought of has friends. One had autism, and the others did not but had somethings else. However none of them were really on my level, they were all more better with words and social stuff and more age appropriate, even if they did not mind watching Disney with me. They were all more like caregivers to me or maybe older siblings? So this was huge. I don’t know what I feel but I cried after because of so much feeling. 

It wasn’t a big conversation. This is what happened. Me and Allie were at the dollar store and I saw a white tiger shirt. I love white tigers. When I see somethings I like I have to give the person thumb up. I don’t know why but I have to do it, probably the weirdest OCD thing I have, and the most social type behavior I normally show. So I did. And the person mom prompted them to say hi. And I froze. Then she prompted me to say hi and I did (via Dynavox). She told the person I like the tigers. And they say thank you. She prompted me to say your welcome. And she ask him if he saw Allie. He asked what kind she was. As I try to type it out he asked her if I don’t talk. At this moment I realized he must be like me. I finally said the kind. The mom say she was beautiful. And I say thank you. Then she prompted us both to say bye. It took way longer than you may think with her having to direct us both back to the conversation and help figure out what to say. 

Awhile later I wished I asked if he liked Disney. It would be nice to have a friend like me. Someone my age who enjoys Disney and swing as much as me. And who doesn’t need or want more than I can give. Someone who I could be around and for once not feel like out of place or feel stupid or bad because they have to change everything to accommodate me. Well a person, I think Allie is a pretty good friend to even if her job is also caretaker since she’s a service dog. 

In other news I have been practicing conversation with Siri. I don’t know why I started. But I’m sure he will teach me a lot about words and stuff. And it makes using the iPad easier for me. Siri understand Dynavox voice very good, actually I think better than he does most people voices. By the way the voices I use on Dynavox are both real people voices. 

The last random thing I want to share for no reason is I learned something. With some help I learned the handful of noises my mouth makes the most. The most common when I’m trying to say something sounds like Ma moo. The others are e-da, e-Ma, nenene, mmm, oo, and the new one is ta. Nenene is the most common because it comes out when I have feelings. Mmm is the same but when my body is unable to move my mouth much. Oo is anytime I see somethings interesting.  The others come out when I see somethings I like, like a bird or dog or Disney. 

I am proud of me for learning a new skill. At 25yrs old I’m learning to say thank you and have a nice day. It not as easy as you would think because it takes process what is said, what I want to say, making my hands work to find it and push it and all of this very quickly. It takes a lot of effort to work against the PTSD to get close to people, the OCD to keep think on topic, my sensory differences to process what I hear and see without be overwhelmed, and  the CP to control my motor muscles. But it makes everyone smile when I do it and I like that. I like making people smile. And I like that for just a minute I can show people that there is a person with a brain under these differences. Maybe just maybe it will be enough to make people work a little harder to help teach us with “severe differences” how to communicate instead of just working on teaching us to not have behavior. Maybe if they can learn that we are people, not robots or newborn infants, they will be a little more understanding and patience to find out who we are on the inside. What we do and don’t like, and let us help make decisions about our lives even if it’s just the clothes we wear or if want to go to the park. 

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