Aug 29, 2012

The blog in which autism learns emotions.

MAN DOWN!  MAN DOWN!  Oh wait, that's not true.  So, while Charlie does not know why we had to cut the tree down, he did know I was making plans to have it come down.  He kept saying something about not wanting it to come down, about death, and such, but I thought he was worried about the person who was to do the deed.  I finally put it together, as he finally was able to verbalize it. The tree was going to die.  He was so upset about it.  I put a request out on Facebook, to pay $75 to anyone with a saw and the ability/desire to cut this tree down.  I immediately got some offers, and one, from a sweet neighbor friend whose boyfriend has experience doing this, and said he could do it this coming week.  So, as soon as we got in from gymnastics last night, around 7:PM, they were at our door and got right to it.  It was down and cleared within the hour, and all the while, I was outside and Geoff was at work, but I could see Charlie was not right.  Shay understood that the tree had to come down in order to put the trampoline in.  Charlie doesn't even know about it.  So, I started wondering...  why the sudden fear of cutting trees?  Then, it hit me.  The Lorax.  Awe... I felt horrible, and Geoff was seeing a much bigger development- sympathy.

*We do not allow more than about 2-5 hours of TV a MONTH.  However, we took the migits to a free viewing of The Lorax in a local park a few weeks ago.  While Charlie was panicking through most of it, as movies, in general, are hard for him to separate real from not real, he must have learned something.  Going to a no TV house is not only a huge financial win, but a win for childrens' development.  Everything from attention span, to other learning opportunities come from a house that limits TV.  If you don't believe me, go ask any doctor or teacher.  I do pull up Youtube videos of gymnastics, or fun science experiments, and I include that in my calculations of how much viewing they receive.  We have been TV-free now for three years.  Think of how much money we saved.  Allowed for a few extra local theater productions in the Spring time for us.  We even took them to Seusical the Musical and loved it!  (Look into the Spring plays at your local high schools.  We went to The Sound of Music, Seusical the Musical, Grease!, Annie, My Fair Lady, etc,  over the past two years.)

While Charlie is admittedly on the higher functioning side of autism, he has never had sympathy or empathy.  In fact, if someone gets hurt, he keeps going.  (He would make a great nurse.  Do the job, and don't allow too much emotion to get in the way of what needs to be done.)  Last night, he was oblivious to the train wreck happening around him at gymnastics.  I would post video, but it was graphic, and I don't feel like getting sued for sharing other people's children and their inability to safely do gymnastics.   I mean, a dive roll people... you tuck your head in!  It was the scariest thing to watch these kids fall flat on their faces after diving over the apparatus.  Charlie was clueless.  He did what the teacher demonstrated, and moved on.

However, a tree coming down, hurt him.  He thought it would hurt the tree.  He verbalized it would hurt and that it would die.  Wow.  So, the tree did come down, and he watched most of it.  Then, he went up to bed, and when I checked on him, he was asleep.  First thing this morning, he asked about the tree.  I didn't know what else to say, and promised we would plant another tree.  I wish I had more emotion for this tree, but the only emotion I have is elation for its' removal.  Seriously, that thing took up space in the smallest back yard you have ever seen, and it dropped leaves, which made a mess, and we all know how I feel about a mess- it's over medicating inducing- on a good day.

I went to look up Arbor Day Foundation online, and the website is not working well.  So.... here's what  will happen.  I don't know how much it costs, however, I will donate to have a tree planted in his honor for his birthday since the tree removal was a gift.  Angie's boyfriend refused payment.  I mean, after an uncomfortable verbal plea to take my money, he ripped up the check with a smile on his face AND thanked me for allowing him the opportunity.  Wow.  I had never even met the man before!  It was amazing.  I wish I could do something so helpful to someone, someday.  It was crazy.  Man sweat, lost blood, and worked crazy hard for an hour for us, and refused to allow me to compensate him.  And Angie, jumped in and started raking and throwing leaves over the fence!  (I was going to do it today, as I was being eaten alive, it was getting dark, and I was fresh from a shower at the Y after my laps, before gymnastics.)  Good people.  She said, "Buy the kids something and say it's from me."  Done, Angie and Arnie have just bought my son some comfort, knowing that a baby tree will be planted for him.  Thank you friends.
Photograph © Erin Ahrens 2012

Acts 20:35

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

1 comment:

  1. Just found the perfect gift for Charlie! A tree in his name with the Jewish National Fund to be planted in Isreal! I am sooooo excited! He will get a little note or card about the tree and it's meaning. The organization has been around for years, and we can make it a lesson about his heritage as well. Wow. The gifts keep coming.