“The times when he (Grant) would say a word or phrase that would show a level of understanding and complexity that exceeded what I myself thought…In those moments, I was always caught speechless, trying to understand how the same child who just uttered those words could have a meltdown in the grocery store over pork chops two nights before.” The Best Kind of Different (pg. 59)
As I read and re-read those words countless times, all I could do was laugh to myself. Shonda’s description of Grant is what Amber and I seem to feel and experience several times a day. I bet if I were to ask the parents of any Aspie, a vast majority would say the same thing. And that is part of what makes Asperger’s so frustrating for parents/caregivers/families. Here they are making a point on something that far exceeds anything that we have thought, yet something so small can trigger an epic meltdown.
Just this morning, as I was walking in the door after my run, Amber gave me a perfect example of this. Apparently while I was gone, Kaitlyn decided to count to five…in Italian! Nobody here speaks Italian, and to my knowledge she is not studying the language at camp, but she can sure count to five. Like so many things she says to blow our minds, I think she picked it up off of a show she watches…but it probably was not the same episode of the same show she was watching this morning. She can also count to three in Chinese. On the flip side, bring up the fact that she did not see Daisy at Epcot in March, and the tears will flow for quite some time, and she will be upset beyond consolation.
Days like Shonda described are frequent for us, and the roller-coaster of emotions can be exhausting at times. That Kaitlyn can go from being so sweet to having a major meltdown to being sweet again in the course of a few minutes is draining.