Posted by Pweshes Mama on August 21, 2009
Over the holidays, we have been trying to widen Raiyan's interests beyond just his obsessions with dinasours and animals, as we kept telling him that not everyone are into those things as much as he does and if he wants to keep a conversation with other children, he needs to be able to talk about other things too. We have tried to make him watch "Ben 10" (which I believe would be the "in" thing with boys nowadays?) and I have to commend him for trying but somehow after a couple of tries, he still couldn't get into it.
But the one "cool" thing that my sister did manage to sustain his interest in was "Transformers" and she actually made him sit down with him through the whole DVD playing of the movie. Admittedly, he was a slightly hesitant in the beginning but after a while, and especially since there was some form of correlation with dinasours with them transforming into something that looks like them, he really did seem to enjoy the whole movie and he even acquainted himself with some of the characters' names. However, between that time and this week when he started school, it still wasn't something that we saw he reeeaalllyy liked as once he got home, he still got back to his dinos and animals stuffs.
But Jo told us that on the first day of school this week, Raiyan was striking a conversation with the boy sitting next to him and I guess he figured that dinosaurs was not a common interest so instead, he actually started using the talking points on transformers that my sister shared with him while they were watching the movie! And then, there they were, actually having a "real" conversation about transformers! :-)
It was so funny cause Jo was just listening in the corner thinking "oh my, these are all lies! lies! hahaha!" Well of course they are not "completely" lies but we do know that he doesn't love transformers as much as he sounded! We can't help but be so proud of him as he really did work hard during all the social skills sessions Kerri organised over the holidays. And we're so grateful that he is able to recognise it when another child is bored or disinterested in what he is saying and not only is he okay with that but he actually is beginning to handle the situation better by adjusting his actions - something we hardly imagined he can do! It seems so contradictory in nature for Raiyan to have autism and at the same time have this innate need to please people (which is not at all surprising with both his parents having that same nature!) but I think it could act as a double edge sword. On one hand, it is helping his social skills at a faster rate than we expected and we are truly surprised that he has reached a point of knowing to be "fake" to please the person he is talking to, which is undeniably a basic and common difficulty for individuals with autism. But at the same time, I do get worried since I know how difficult it is for him to do this, that he might get too guilty for not being able to please everyone. I already see this happening when he gets really upset if I tell him off for something or when a friend ignores him. I think I really need to be conscious to not make him feel like he needs to please people all the time - which I'm sure is an alien thing with him since ALL he has been doing for the past 20 months is pleasing us with all his achievements! I guess this is another chapter in our journey of balancing autism and the world that we have to be aware of.
In the meantime, can anyone suggest what other "cool" topics Raiyan can talk to his friends and be "fake" about? heehee...