Someone once asked me to define the similarities and differences between the Hubs and our 7yo. On the surface, the differences are huge- due to the fact that one has 25+ years of trying to fit in socially and being (seriously. lack of better term) beaten into social submission. So I wrote a ginormous list, but only chose a few to share with you since this is a blog post, not a book.
Since Hub’s childhood behaviors were seen as “no-no’s” instead of differences, he faced punishments instead of correction or therapies. This has affected how he views things (including the desire to have our son fit in socially) and has negatively altered behaviors. Our goal as parents is to help our son navigate through life and become independent (or mostly independent. We’ll see how that goes).
Some of the similarities:
- Sitting still unless mind is actively engaged- Like how they both have an incredibly difficult time sitting just about anywhere unless they are fascinated by what’s going on-like a car video…
- Irresistable urge to touch things – This can be super annoying to people who are nuerotypical Hubs got yelled at for touching too many things in the kitchen (including adjusting the burners) while a friend was cooking (then just as men do, they later got over it).
- Heightened senses-like they’re innate ability to smell just about anything . From anywhere. Or when Hubs wakes in the middle of the night because the heater doesn’t sound right. This skill really comes in handy with our vehicles-Hubs is able to pick out the slightest noise and tell you what it is & why it shouldn’t be making that noise.
- Unable to read/comprehend other’s facial expressions & social cues- Obviously a difficult trait to navigate, but one that is important to be aware of.
- Find farting funny (seriously. Annoying. Is it the sound? The stench? I don’t know…Or maybe it’s just a man thing…)
- Wake up at random times in the night- We were not aware that this was an issue for our 7yo until we moved to Alaska, and he started coming into our room at all hours of the night. Our solution was to get him a clock so that we could teach him about time and how it wasn’t okay for the entire household to be awake at 3 a.m. We ended up giving him an “okay time” to exit his room (except to use the toilet). This was trial & error at first, because he figured out how to move the clock forward, making it the “okay time” when it was still 4 a.m. Fun stuff. But now if he’s ever concerned that his clock is wrong, he just peeks into our room & looks at our clock (because he thinks our clock will always be the “right time”).
Some of the differences:
- J has better control of his body & more advanced gross motor skills than the Hubs- When he turned five, I was all set to sign him up for the X-games due to his extreme gross motor skills (when he was less than 2yrs he would jump from the top of our couch onto an ottoman with wheels), but since, we’ve moved to Alaska, bought ice skates, and he found a new love. While watching the graceful (he’s got skill, but grace isn’t in the description) movements, he yells, “Mom, I gotta practice! Watch me!” and he did an awkward 360 in the air. Eh, maybe we’ll let him watch some ice hockey next. I’m sure you only need skill, not grace for that, lol.
- J loves to take photos. Of everything. And everyone. I believe Hubs used to, but doesn’t have the desire to any more-instead, he makes videos of things that interest him (I thought it was crazy, until his videos became so popular that Google started sending him checks).
- J loves to read while it gives the Hubs a headache (unless it’s new info online about his areas of expertise). I like to think it’s because we encourage reading in our home. The kids see me reading & we help them practice reading. It’s such an important skill that can take him places.
I don’t think there’s anything that the Hubs enjoys that J doesn’t, so I guess the differences stem from us parents broadening J’s horizons and exposing him to a variety of things. And for now, it seems to be helping…and that is enough.