Story
by BrianRobinson
 Kaleidoscopic
Jan 08, 2012 | 2285 views |  0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
    One of my college friends set up a monthly challenge, where we would get a topic and a sentence once a month and have to write a story from those.  This has sparked my interest in writing again, so over Christmas I scribbled out this story, which is an attempt to guess/imagine what Xander sees and feels.  The formatting is intentional - assuming it copies over well - and the asterisks refer to down to the bottom of the story for more information.

How true it is, or close it is, I don't know.  But here it is:

What you need to know:

Our son is autistic.  He is high-level, but limited verbally.

 

 

What I See:

 

My son is jumping in front of the Christmas tree again.  He jumps, laughing, and at the peak of his jump he arcs like a fish broaching the air, slapping his thighs and laughing a pealing, stuttering, full-throated bellow.  He seems okay - I have to watch to make sure he doesn't get too amped up and start looping(*) or getting hysterical.  But for now...I speak too soon.  He begins to fling himself at my Swiss exercise ball, turning in midair and landing on his back, bent nearly head to heels, bouncing up, landing, spinning around and doing it again...and the ball is rolling away..."Xander!  Wait!"...Too late, he lands off balance and rolls and hits the ground.  "XANDER!"  I get up and run to check.  "Are you okay are you okay are you okay?"(**) he asks, so something hurts, but I don't see any blood and his arms and legs move fine.  Before I can say anything to him he tears away from me and runs to the dining room and slams his head on the table four times, hard, I see the books and papers on it jump from the impact.  He's hurt...I can't see where...I have to wait until he calms down so I can check him more throughly.  It takes a while.  When he does, I see a large carpet burn on his arm.  He goes back to jumping.

 

 

WHAT HE EXPERIENCES:

 

redBLINK

   greenBLINK

  blueBLINK

(JUMP)

         redBLINK

     blueBLINK

                 greenBLINK

(jUMp)

     redBLINK

    blueBLINK

                                         greenBLINK

(jumP)

redbluegreen BBBLLLIIINNNKKK

happyLAuGh

(jumP)

redbluegreen BBBLLLIIINNNKKK

{pink}happylaugh

{Brightpink}happylaugh

(jumP)

redBLINK

              greenBLINK

    blueBLINK

Bluebouncyball...

(JUMP)

(BOUNCE)

 

                             (***)

(JUMP)

(BOUNCE)

 

 

(JUMP)

Daddyvoiceclearsmooth   XanXdaenrdWearWitait(****)

 

BouncE

 

(thud)

BUrnReDa   r    M 

 

DaddyvoicegoldloudsharpscareXANXDAENRD  E  R  

SCaredhuRTConfUSed

HurtBuRn  "Arae yroeuy ookua y?"

hurTBuRn  "AREA yRoEuY oOkUa  Y?

HUrTBUrn  "AREAYROEUYOOKUAY?"

HURTBURN

H34787487489849UredbluegreenRscaredroughloudTwoodroughpain(*****)

 

(SLAM)(SLAM)(SLAM)(SLAM)

 

 

(******)

 

 

 

ArmHURt

ARmHuRt

armhurt

 

 

 

 

redBLINK

           blueBLINK

  greenBLINK

(JumP)

 

redbluegreen BLINK

                   BLINK

                   BLINK

 

{goldlaugh}

 

 

 

 

(*) - Looping - Our inexact and unsanctioned name for what happens when Xander has something that bothers him but can't quit doing it, like a permanent loop on a program, a scratch on a record, or poking that sore in your mouth.  When he was young, A-B-C, A-B-C, A-B-C would be a loop, and unstopped would start a meltdown.

(**) - Xander has verbal shorthands, a kind of audio code.  "Are you okay?" means he's hurt somewhere.

(***) - one of his physical therapists told us that in addition to all the sensory issues an autistic child has, they're often dealing with odd signals from their body, never quite comfortable in their own skin, like an all-over pins and needles feeling and not knowing quite exactly where your body parts are.  From watching my son, I noticed he loves bouncing, jumping, swimming and swinging, and I thought that perhaps those few seconds of weightlessness in those activities helped him feel nothing at all.  Hence the blank space.

(****) - one scientific article I read - I tend to up keep with autistic news - said a few studies have shown that autistic people's brains sometimes process auditory information a few microseconds off from one side to another.

(*****) - a throughly inadequate attempt to visually describe what kind of agony a sensory overload must feel like - the pain, the jagged and off sensory input, a rush of overload.

(******) - headbutting is pretty common.  I've come to think of it as a way to say I'm really something - hurt, overloaded, frustrated, confused - and also a way to reset, kind of like the weightless feeling from before.

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