By Kodey Toney
Don’t Question What You Know
Imagine with me if you will…You are sitting in your car and frantically you are trying to reach the airport before your flight leaves. You can see the airport in the distance. It’s a couple miles away to your right, but you’re not sure how to get there.
You know that you have to exit 101, but as you approach exit 101 there is a 101a, 101b, and 101c. You are in the right hand lane of a busy three-lane interstate and they all exit left. You swerve hard through traffic and make it to the exit, but as you depart the freeway you are caught in a bottleneck. You also realize that exit 101a takes you to the left side, and the airport is on the right. You see it sneaking out of your rearview.
You realize the problem and try to find a place to turn around, but there are “No U Turn” signs everywhere.
This is just a sample of the frustration that a person on the spectrum feels with simple everyday tasks.
I’m always looking for ways to understand Konner’s thought process. What makes him frustrated? What causes him to yell and scream? What causes him to lose control?
When our presenter at a recent Partners class, Michael Mayer, gave a similar analogy I felt this was a great way of looking at his vexation. Who wouldn’t feel aggravated if they were in this situation several times a day?
The smallest tasks can send Konner into a tailspin sometimes. This is because he doesn’t always understand the questions asked or tasks given to him. He has always struggled with who, what, when where, and why questions. This is something we’ve worked on, but it still bothers him. I try to restate the questions, but sometimes I get frustrated too.
An example of this was a couple days ago I asked him, “Why did you hit your brother?” He said something to the effect of, “I don’t know.” Typical right? Well the truth is he really didn’t understand the question at first. So I continued to ask, “Why did you hit your brother?” Again he said he didn’t know. This continued for a minute or two until I got frustrated. He finally said, “Dad, why do you keep asking me that?” Once I redirected my question and said, “Did Kruz do something to you?” He then told me what I wanted to hear.
It’s all about the way you ask.
Think outside the box.