This past week, the special ed teacher employed at BUP (Child and Youth Psychiatry), came out to our village to observe “Gubby” at pre-school (Montessori daycare). She is a very odd person. Not at all the sort of person that a child will open up to and feel comfortable with. Last time, we were at BUP itself and while we were being interviewed by the psychologist, “Gubby” had to walk off and PLAY with her. She came back and said that “he doesn’t really want to play”. He would not give the cars or trains voices and pretend. (He likes to put the cars in rows and admire them.) And he hooked the trains in to each other and silently drove them around. Well, that is what I would have done to, if I had to play with her.
This time she was supposed to watch him in his natural element. The pre-school teachers had prepared themselves and told me that they were going to show off his good sides. What he CAN do and not what he can NOT do. He loves making pasta, so that was one of the things they were going to have him do. But, this Chinese boy came up to “Gubby” and asked him if he wanted to make it with him and I guess “Gubby” did not feel like cooking with that particular boy. The teachers said that “Gubby” was not entirely himself that day. Coughing away and well, of course he felt that the situation was not a normal one.
When I arrived we sat down with her, two teachers and me, to answer questions. The teachers got upset and told me afterwards that they were shocked at how focused she was on everything that he can not do. They were not allowed to tell her all the things they do to help him. She is just looking at every little thing that can prove that he has autism. She did not care when we told her how much his language is exploding every week. He says more and more but she just kept on saying that she did not understand lots of the things that he said to her. Like “it doesn’t stick” when he tried to plug in a cord, “it doesn’t work” when two rubber bands had stuck together and could not be put on this little puzzle thing they do, where they stretch the rubber bands between nails to make a pattern. He did hold the electrical plug in his hand and he fetched the puzzle when she did not understand what to do with the rubber bands, how dense is the woman? Who is autistic here? Complete lack of imagination.
She asked us the most strange questions. Will he sit down at the lunch table and pretend that he is Winnie the Pooh and talk like him? I almost burst out laughing and looked at the head of the pre-school who raised her eye-brows! He doesn’t even watch Winnie the Pooh. I did not bring up that he loves to act out scenes from his favourite films. Like when “Larry” gets tied by the little miniatures in “Night at the Museum”. Or when “Mr. Bean” holds up his eyes in order not to fall asleep in church. ( I think Mr. Bean does it, when he is at a scary film with his poor girlfriend, as well.) He also likes to do “Mr. Bean’s” funny dance from when the latter goes to a disco with his girlfriend. I doubt that the special ed teacher would have “approved”. What imaginary play is normal and what is not? Come to think of it, which child is normal really? If you look really close at every child, they all have ideas and quirks.
Should I feed his love for “Mr. Bean” though? For the fun of it, when searching eBay for Christmas presents, I searched for “Teddy”. When he walked by and saw what I looked at he exclaimed “TEDDY!”. Question is if he would like his own or if he is content just looking at it, on my computer? Yesterday when searching through my closet for things I’ve bought during the year, I discovered that there are no trains! Just cars. It feels sad to just give him cars from Disney’s “Cars”. Talking about that, the special ed teacher asked HOW he plays and brought up, him having put cars in a row at BUP. I told her that he loves cars, admires them but just because he loves to put them in rows, he doesn’t put other things in rows, like turning all ears on mugs in one way. Somewhat irritated I told her that he does not have OCD just because he loves the way his cars look. In the end, it sounded like everything he does is abnormal. Liking to clean with the teachers instead of sitting at “samlingen”, when they sit in a ring and there is a little group teach. The male teacher pointed out that lots of children like to clean with the teachers instead of sitting listening to the little lesson. And the head, told her that he likes to sit in the ring if something concrete is being shown, that he only walks off when it is abstract things that are being discussed. I guess it is also abnormal to see to that all his table friends have got food on their plates eventhough the teachers said that “he knows that noone can start eating until everybody have all the types of food on their plates, salad, potatoes, vegetables…”. Liking order is abnormal! Liking rules is abnormal. Another question was “how does he ask for more milk?”. She kept interrogating the male teacher about this. He finally said “he looks at where the milk jug is standing and then asks the person that sits by it, to hand it to him!”. The whole thing was insane!
And it is not over yet. In January he is going to BUP again, to play with the psychologist and her. And then T. and I have to go there for a 2 hour interview when the psychologist will ask us the same sort of stupid questions, asked Wednesday. And a physician will also have to see him at another date, further on. I am getting so depressed over this. He is not any extra work, like his two older brothers are. He is calm while they are wild. He is the most loving child. While they are constantly fighting, he does not harm a fly. He is so cute, cuddly and happy all the time. Which can not be said about his brothers. He is easy to take care of, compared to those two prize fighters! You can go places with him, bring him to places without having to excuse for his behaviour or feeling embarrassed. He loves and cares for people. There is order with him. He obeys. In my view, he is the most normal one of the lot. So what if his speech is late, he is catching up! No, he is not on the level with his peers, but he is getting there!!! Maybe I should get “Mr. Bean’s Teddy” for him after all. Just because! I must say that I find “Mr. Bean” as amusing as “Gubby” does.