“His world can only be black or white”: the story of the mother of the child with autism

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  • “His world can only be black or white”: the story of the mother of the child with autism

They do not see shades and halftones, remember events once and for all and cannot change their attitude to them. What is it like to be near and understand that your child lives in a completely different world? Says journalist and blogger Jessica Silfest.

My son Grayson does not perceive the world in gray. This is quite ironic, because “gray” is his name (from English. Grey – gray). Moreover, at home we call him so. But his world can only be white or black.

Fun or sad. Hot or cold. Up or down. Yes or no. He cannot imagine that there can be something else between the two extremes. Does not know how it is to think about several things at the same time. Does not know how to reflect on the future, only about what is happening now, at this moment.

Environment. Sounds. People. Feelings. Weather. He lives 100% every moment of the present, absorbing the smallest details.

He is like a sponge. Absorbing the details of a certain moment in the present, it restores it in memory. Lays each fragment of this moment according to the “folders” carefully organized in his mind. That is how he will remember this moment, and this moment for him will remain in the future.

Graison is very difficult to rethink the experience that has lived. He cannot get rid of the memory of this moment. Can not imagine it in a new way, differently. So his brain is arranged.

White. Black. Up. Down. Yes. No. Only two poles. Between them – nothing. Beach, cinema, visit a visit, going to a restaurant or zoo. Any event, large or insignificant, becomes a memory. And the memory turns into a script.

Sometimes we are lost in guesses about how deep his memory is and how difficult his thought process is organized. From time to time he manages to shake us to the core. We are amazed at the abilities of his beautiful mind, amazed at the ability to recreate the smallest details.

This is simultaneously grace and curse.

I like that his mind is filled with detailed memories that he is sentimental. That he remembers people and places that we see not as often as we would like. I like how the waves of happiness cover it when he remembers a joyful moment. His eyes light up, he spins in place, trying to absorb everything around. Remembers, systematizes, lays out in the right order and recreates everything again in his memory.

But sometimes these memories create problems. Events are rarely repeated and never unfold according

to the same scenario. We are trying to explain to our son that we can perceive the same event, a case in different ways. For me it is so simple. It is impossible for him, because there is no gray.

I can only hope that one day he will come out of his world of opposites to become closer to me

Did you know that in the psychology of the color of the color gray is the color of the compromise? It is not surprising that my son does not perceive him.

Compromise and autism on the opposite poles of thinking. Autism is inflexible and adamant. He takes what he wants and when he wants. The compromise requires to admit that there is someone else in the world besides you and it is necessary to reckon with it. This is difficult to give to someone who is sure: the world exists only for him.

Emotions, logic, compromise – concepts that seem familiar and understandable, turn out to be incredibly complicated for people with autistic spectrum disorders.

My son Grayson is not “gray”. None of the meanings of the word. Often he is adamant and uncompromising. He stubbornly achieves what he needs. Why? Because he does not know that you can live differently. He does not know that between the poles of existence there may be the middle.

I live “in the middle”. With my ordinary brain, I belong to the usual average majority. And I really want my son to join me. I understand that perhaps this will never happen. Therefore, she learned to get to his world from time to time. And I can only hope that one day he will come out of his world of opposites in order to become closer to me, friends, a family, to a life in which there is not only black and white.

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