Autisable Dads

S4 E12 Communication is Key

My son loves his letters.

Let’s just say, even after several years, he is fascinated by anything dealing with the alphabet.

He also loves to go on car rides that can often last a couple of hours. These rides would calm his nerves, and provide a change of pace from the usual sensory inputs.

When we go to his IEP meetings or discuss things about his habits, there is always a mention of his foam letter puzzles, or playing specific YouTube videos that deal with letters and sounds. In the words of Spock on Star Trek, he finds them “fascinating”.

I’ve always expressed that when you can help him communicate in any way, any behavioral issues, such as aggression, will dissipate. In fact, I’ve been saying this for years.

What is frustrating is that some folks just won’t listen. Or, if they try, they run out of patience.

Most of the time when we go on a car ride, we may play some music or put something on the radio. My wife may often play the song “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. This would be a regular song being played when she’d drive with him.

But one day, she didn’t play the song. In fact, it was a day when no music was being played and it was just a quiet car ride to help calm his nerves.

Later that night, this happened:

Take a moment here. He wrote out the lyrics, with his foam letters, of an Adele song. It took me a few minutes to figure it out.

I asked him what he was writing and it seemed very familiar. He kept looking at me as I was guessing what it was.

I took a picture and texted my wife. We were initially stumped. Then, she said it was a song. It’s Adele’s Song!

To confirm, I googled the lyrics. Yep, that’s the song all right, Rolling in the Deep.

I asked our son if that’s the song by Adele. He smiled and laughed. Got a bit excited and kept on adding more letters and words.

Reflecting back on the day, on that car ride, we discovered that my wife always played that song whenever she took him with her. This time, on this day, she didn’t play that song.

So, I asked him if he wanted me to play the song. He smiled again. So, I played it. And as it played he wanted me to leave the room. So, I did. And when the song was over, he seemed to be a bit more at peace.

Seems he missed that song in the routine. He knew what he wanted, had a song in his head, and that was that.

How often do you have a song in your head and just need to listen to it? Well, that’s what he needed.
(Let me know if after this newsletter you’re going to play that son, too)

Never underestimate someone’s desire to reach out and express their interests. Or even their ability to communicate that need. I’ll say it before, and I’ll say it time and time again… my son understands everything. His inability to communicate like us neurotypical people do may seem to be limited. But he reaches out however he can to express and describe what his perspective is… every day.

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For those curious about the cover photo this week, I took it.  Click Here if you’d like it for yourself.

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Joel Manzer
Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!
Joel Manzer

Joel Manzer

Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!

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