It’s been a week, and I feel oh-so very guilty for neglecting you.
Today, my Mama told me one of those stories that make you collapse into guilt-induced laughter, so I thought I’d share it with you. I’m not sure why – possibly an attempt to reaffirm to myself that it is funny and I’m not just being terribly insensitive, but more likely because it seemed a perfect way to get back into the blogosphere with a relatively read-worthy post.
My Mama has worked with autistic children on-and-off for around 10 years. Several of my friends have done the same, and I too have had the pleasure of teaching autistic children on more than one occasion. I even wrote a play about it for my A Levels and wrote a short story centred around an autistic child as part of my degree, as I have to admit I find it fascinating and I was passionate about researching it in as much detail as possible.
I’m well aware of the difficulty surrounding the condition – the instances of heart-breaking inability to communicate effectively or connect physically with autistic people, and the moments where you see in their faces that your world and theirs just don’t add up and it seems impossible to explain why.
Sometimes, however, when you’ve known an autistic child for many years, they can do something unintentionally that just makes your day a little brighter when you hear about it. Today is one of those days.
A friend of my Mama’s has a sixteen year old son who has autism. Like many autistic people, he has an ‘obsession’: a passionate interest in something that helps him cope with his surroundings, which is especially useful to block out things his mind can’t process. His passion is Lord of the Rings: he forever watches the films and plays the computer games. Like other people with autism, however, he can sometimes get over-involved in his love for the movies/games and they can cause him distress as well.
Mama’s friend left him at home as per usual while she went to work for a few hours today. About an hour later, he called her. It was clear he was getting quite anxious.
Son: “Mum, I’ve caught a hobbit. I don’t know what to do.”
Mum: “It’s okay. Just stop playing your computer game if it’s upsetting you.”
She thought nothing of it until an hour later he called again.
Son: “Mum, my hobbit keeps making noises and I don’t like it.”
Mum: “Seriously, you need to turn your computer game off and do something else. Don’t get worked up. ”
About ten minutes later, she received another phone call – this time it was her neighbour telling her to get home now because the police were outside her house. She raced home.
When she arrived, it transpired that shortly after she’d left, the gas man had turned up to read the meter. The gas man happened to be a dwarf. When he had been looking at the meter in the cupboard under the stairs, the son had pushed him inside and locked him there, genuinely believing he had caught a hobbit!
The gas man, unable to persuade the poor boy to release him, had simply called the police on his mobile. Luckily, he did also see the funny side… My Mama’s friend couldn’t apologise enough, but he assured her he’d be dining out on this story for years to come!
I hope this story made you smile as much as it did for me. 🙂