Many of you know that Sesame Street has a new character, Julia, who has autism. In one of the opening scenes when the characters introduce Julia, Abby says that Julia acts, “In a Julia sort of way.”
Yesterday, Brant Hansen (http://branthansen.com/), who I listen to on Word FM, who has Asperger’s, shared that he absolutely loved the phrase, “in a Julia sort of way,” because one cannot describe any one person on the autism spectrum the same way as anyone else. Everyone is unique in their interests, behaviors, talents, and habits.
I decided that today I would share a little about “Liam’s Way.”
Liam tells me “good” when I ask him how he is doing.
He sits quietly for long periods of time.
He will tell me more if I have him go through every class he has, in order.
This is how he tells me about his day.
Liam interrupts others when they are talking.
He will come right up to another conversation
In the middle of his when he starts talking.
This is how you know he considers you a friend.
Liam says that his stomach hurts.
He says he feels sad.
His face is a full and constant frown.
This is how I know that Liam might be hungry.
Liam shares everything that is on his mind.
He asks questions that are sometimes surprising.
Sometimes we are embarrassed by what he says out loud.
We try to share with Liam that there is a time and place to say what he’s thinking. He has to choose those moments carefully.
Liam doesn’t look us in the eye when he talks.
He is very sorry and sad when he makes mistakes.
He will play video games all day if I let him.
Liam is sensitive and kind, and a fierce understanding of right and wrong.
Liam tells me that he loves me about 20 times a day.
He leans on me whenever he sits next to me.
When he walks by, he touches my shoulder or hand.
These are the ways he lets me know that he is mine.