By Kodey Toney
Seeing is Believing
Don't believe everything you hear or read about autism. There are so many myths that until you actually live with, or work closely with, someone on the spectrum you can't know for sure. One such myth is that people with autism are non-emotional or robotic in nature. While I'll admit that may seem true on the surface, you shouldn't look too far into that Sheldon Cooper style of autism.
I can't speak for everyone on the spectrum because everyone is different. I can tell you how Konner is, and how he reacts to certain situations.
I got a phone call this afternoon and it came across the to screen as my wife. When I answered I was surprised that this sweet little voice on the other end said, "Daddy, I'm sorry that I kicked you." It was Konner and he was talking about something that happened earlier in the morning.
You see Konner carries feelings with him for a long time. When someone does something that hurts his feelings it can affect him for a long time.
He also often feels remorse for things that he does because he knows the difference between wrong and right, but his emotions get the better of him and he can't help it.
We are having trouble with him lately because he will lash out and hit or kick just because something doesn't go the way he thinks it should. While I have to admit that he may get his temper from me, he has the hardest time keeping it in check. If he says something and no one responds he will get upset and kick at them. Rarely does he actually land the kick, but he tries and that is enough to get him in trouble at school.
He then gets upset with himself because he knows its wrong and he feels remorse.
He will also come to me with tears in his eyes and tell me he's sorry for things he's done earlier in the day or even week.
On the other hand, he had a homework assignment the other day that gave choices of emotions to feel in the blank. It would say something like: The boy was (excited, sad) when the puppy died. He gets really confused on these for some reason, and that is common with people on the spectrum.
He also had to watch a video in school that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol presented about a car wreck. When the character in the crash began screaming and became hysterical Konner started laughing. He was just reacting the way he always does, but he was scolded for his actions even though he never meant anything by it, and really couldn't help it. He just doesn't process those feelings the same way.
While emotions are confusing to him, he does feel them. He feels sad when his feelings are hurt. And he feels angry when something doesn't go his way. That's not so unusual is it?