Dig a Little Deeper

Autism FriendshipSeeing these two together just brings me joy.  Kirsten’s little cousin and her fun-loving mom lived with us for two years. We were soooo lucky.  This precocious, talkative, climb-all-over-Kirsten girl was perfect!  She would ask Kirsten a question and when Kirsten didn’t respond, she would ask louder.  Kirsten began paying more attention.  Perfect! 

She would give her a hug (i.e. stranglehold), never noticing that Kirsten was uncomfortable and pulling away.  Kirsten learned to adapt, even appreciating and initiating these exchanges. Perfect! 

Kirsten could take the big-sister role.  Get her a fruit snack?  Sure!  Put in a new movie to watch?  Of course!  Take her outside to play?  Suuurrre… uh – had to put a stop to that one.

They’ve moved out on their own now.  We miss them.  Look forward to every visit.  Here’s an exchange that took place when they stopped by recently:

  • Trianna: “Good morning Kirsten!”
  • Kirsten: “Good morning Kirsten.”
  • Trianna (with an ‘I love this game‘ grin): “I’m not Kirsten! I’m Trianna.”
  • Kirsten: “I’m Trianna.”
  • Trianna: “Kirsten say, ‘Good morning Trianna!'”
  • Kirsten: “Good morning Trianna!”
  • Trianna: “Good job Kirsten!!”

Kirsten is learning to be more open, more tolerant of others in her personal space, more responsive to those making conversation.  What about Trianna?  What is she learning?  I think she is getting the best lesson of all. She is learning to dig a little deeper.

Some of the most engaging people in this world don’t think or act like you and me.  If you take the time to dig a little deeper, you may just discover the funny, bright, caring, unique individual that IS.  Lucky girl.  She’s got it figured out.  

This wise 4-year-old explains to newcomers, “Kirsten is a little tricky.”  She says it with such respect.  Such understanding.  If only more people on this earth had the wisdom of this 4-year-old.

Have a little friend you want to help understand our kids? Great book here!

Your turn! Who has enriched your child’s life? Who has benefited from your child’s unique spirit?

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7 Responses

  1. Autism Makes Me Laugh | Tammy says:

    Yesterday Trianna turned 5 years old. At the start of her party, she turns to Kirsten and matter-of-factly says, “Kirsten, I don’t want any screaming at my party.” :) For the most-part Kirsten adhered (just 2 infractions. Too much excitement!) And Trianna remained patient and kind. Good job girls!!

  2. Barbara says:

    Our youngest son (Nathan), explains that his older brother(Andrew) has autism & that’s why he doesn’t talk like you & me. He makes lots of sounds & that’s ok.
    So proud of both our boys!

    • Autism Makes Me Laugh | Tammy says:

      What a nice brother Nathan is! It is so beautiful to see the compassion and understanding from a little one. They are lucky to have each other. You’re a justifiably proud mama :)

  3. jsmommy says:

    What a wonderful interaction between these 2 little cousins. That’s awesome. My asd son is an only child and I sometimes think about what it would be like for him to have a brother or sister. I guess we’ll never know, but stories like yours make me feel a little wistful. Kirsten and Trianna are lucky to have each other. Great website, btw, made me smile :)

    • Autism Makes Me Laugh | Tammy says:

      Thanks for writing jsmommy! I’m so glad I made you smile :). I don’t know about you, but I have one child because she was all I could handle! In some ways your son is blessed to have your undivided attention… I hope a Trianna comes into his life some day!

  4. Diane says:

    AWESOME–heartwarming–amazing! =)

    • Autism Makes Me Laugh | Tammy says:

      Thanks Diane! I wish you could see these two together. You’re right… truly amazing :)