From Gaby:When a child is severely autistic the parents (and others) wonder how much gets into the childs brains. Does the autistic person have any clue of what happens around them? The answer is yes if I have to go by Tybalt. I’m lucky that my once severely autistic, none verbal and according to the professionals severely mentally handicapped son is coming more and more into our world and showing me that his memory of things that happened years ago are very clear.
This evening we looked at some pictures. He likes asking me where the pictures are taken and who the people are. On one of the pictures I was together with a group of people that were professional volunteers from Holland and had just as I, come for a course at the Option institute. For you who have been there, we were standing in front of the board by the son-rise house saying the Autism Treatment Center of America. “Who are they” Tybalt asked me. When I came to a boy who had worked with him some 6 years ago for 8 times max, my memory slipped me. “I can’t remember” I said. “Peter”Tybalt said matter of factly. And he was right because the boys name is Peter but how could he remember when I had forgotten? When Peter played with Tybalt he was 6 years old, none verbal and severely autistic.
Another memory lane is being brought up by Tybalt since about a month. He keeps talking about when my brother came along on a holiday 7 years ago. Looking at the foto’s this evening he said “When Roelie came with us on the holiday we went to the zoo. He cuddled me and helped me take on my cloth. It was fun.”
When I went to me start up I asked help because Tybalt had been kicking the wall night after night for 6 straight months. Tell him you have to sleep and you are tired, explain that you understand he is kicking the wall because he once broke that leg but that you can’t sleep when he kicks the wall was the advise. I must admit I was very skeptical but also desperate so that is what I did the first night I was back home. Tybalt looked at me and stopped. Months later he did it once more and once more I explained to him the same thing and he has never done it again.
For everyone out there looking at your autistic child wondering if there is a person inside understanding, believe there is. Once you may be surprised at just how much they know. Treat them with respect and talk to them as a full person because the chance is they will appreciate it and never give up the hope that you will discover that treasure inside.