My youngest son has a developed a lot of language skills since we first suspected and later diagnosed autism. At age seven he is, at times, articulate and, at other times, incomprehensible. Sometimes the frustration is apparent on his face as he tries to get out the words. Other times the most complicated words and ideas just roll off the toungue. This is about one of those times when it all just flows.
Rock, paper, scissors became a favorite game a year or so ago. My son has shown a creative sense of competitiveness in some recent variations. He played a few rounds with his 19 year old brother before dinner a week or so ago. The last round before we ate went like this:
“Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!” Big brother throws rock. Little brother makes spinning motion with his hand and yells “Tornado! I win! Tornado beats everything!” Big brother puts a stunned look on his face as he realizes that he was beat by a 7 year old who is smart enough to change the rules when he needs to.
We ate dinner. Big brother later admitted to spending a fair amount of this time figuring out how he could throw something that beats tornado. After dinner, big brother was ready and challenged little brother to another round. The round went like this:
“Rock, paper, scissors shoot!” Big brother makes places his forefinger and thumb in a circle and yells “Black hole! It’s pulls in everything, even tornados.” Without missing a beat, little brother makes a whooshing sound and with perfect enunciation shouts “No, I have a black hole suck-a-lator and it just sucked up your black hole”. The stunned look reappeared on big brother’s face. We all laughed and listened to my youngest explain the relative strength of tornados, suck-a-lators, black holes, and the all powerful black hole suck-a-lator.
This is a moment that I will play back in my mind when I get concerned during the other times in which my son struggles to get out the words out or is forced to repeat things because I can’t understand him.