Tonight my daughter called me and said my grandson, Mikey, had just gotten a Yahoo Messenger nick and wanted to chat with me. So I fired up Messenger, requested him as a friend and I could hear him on his end say, “Look what popped up!” and his mom said, “Yeah, that’s granddad. Click ‘OK’.”
Mikey is almost 7 and has been a computer whiz for the past 3 years. Before Ann hung up, and already knowing the answer, I asked her if his computer was still out in the family room where he could be monitored so some weirdo couldn’t make contact with him. As I said, I already knew she would watch out for that, but the old man had to ask for his own peace of mind.
In a few seconds we were chatting and after a few lines of “I love you’s” and “I miss you’s” the following exchange took place. Now remember, Mikey is extremely intelligent, but his Asperger’s means that sometimes he has difficulties with the accepted norms in social behavior and interaction and will respond quite literally to questions that are posed:
j_m_wetherington: Hi Mikey!
j_m_wetherington: How are you?
j_m_wetherington: I miss you
mikey: yes i miss you too
j_m_wetherington: Have you been good in school this last week?
mikey: well its spring break
j_m_wetherington: Oh, ok
mikey: you still need to buy phantoka pohatu for me (NOTE: A kind of Bionocle toy)
j_m_wetherington: are you telling me or asking me?
mikey: telling you
j_m_wetherington: ok. It would be nice if you asked granddad instead of telling him 🙂
Long pause here and I’m imagining Mommy or Daddy are having some input on that end.
mikey: well actually im asking
j_m_wetherington: Thank you, I love you
mikey: i love you too
We went on and chatted for another 15 minutes or so and it was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to spending time with him when I finally get to go home.
April is Autism Awareness Month. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders to be about one in every 150 children.
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