Brodie’s World – Living with Autism

Welcome to Brodies World written 2008

 

Part 1

My lovely five Year old Has Autism High Functioning. Also known as Asperger Syndrome.

To you Brodie has a disability.

BUT

To Brodie you are alien and really weird. You think weird and you act silly and you lie a lot.

You don’t say what you mean.

Your world is horrid loud, brash, harsh and cruel to Brodie.

Your world is a prison to Brodies soul.

And you are the one with the disability. You just aren’t that good. Brodie is. You see it’s the Brodies of the world that have given you the ability to be able to read this the instant I post it. It’s the Brodie’s of the world that allow you to fly and watch spaceship’s lifting off.

It’s the Brodies of the world that solve most of your problems and allow humanity to move ahead.

Creative eccentric genius. That is Aspergers Autism. The wheel was probably invented by someone with Aspergers, Da Vinci, from all records left also appeared to have Aspergers. In fact most of the great people down through time had Aspergers. The thinkers, the inventors, the creators.

The Billy Gates and DaVinci, Edison and Einsteins of the world give you their gift of an evolved brain and soul and you call it a disability?

 

 

Brodie lives in Brodie’s world, there is no other world. You do not exist. If you do exist you are there in that moment of time purely for Brodie’s use. Once Brodie has no more use for you, you are no longer there. If Brodie doesn’t want to see you, he won’t. If Brodie doesn’t want to talk to you, he won’t and basically if Brodie doesn’t want to be a good boy for you, he won’t.

 

No Boundaries

It’s not that he wants to be naughty, it is just that Brodie doesn’t know boundaries. Brodie has no self control at all.

The police were called after Brodie had wandered off yet again. By the time the police had arrived Brodie had walked in the front gate and into his room and was standing with his arms crossed facing the wall refusing to acknowledge anyone.

As the police walked up the front path Brodie stuck his head out the window and yelled  “Hello Mr Policeman. Are you going to underarrested my mummy?”

He then came out to where I was talking to the police on the front verandah entertainment area and proceeded to do cartwheels all over before bouncing off the verandah sofa and then hanging upside down on the fence next to the police officer.

The policeman told him to get down because he wanted to have a talk to him. Brodie got down stood in front of the policeman at attention looking very serious. The policeman gave him the usual lecture about running off on mummy while daddy was sick and told him not to go out the gate. Bad things can happen to little boys. Quite the stern lecture actually and Brodie stood their looking at the policeman stock still, seemingly listening earnestly.

The policeman finished his stern talk and them looked at Brodie.

Officer: “Now did you understand all that son”
Brodie nods
Officer: “So you know you are not to go out the front or open the door and run out the gate again don’t you Brodie?”
Brodie nods
Officer: “So you know you have to be a good boy, not run away and do what mummy tells you to do don’t you Brodie?”
Brodie nods
Officer: “and your going to b a good boy now aren’t you Brodie and stay at home all the time?
Brodie nods
Officer: “now what have you got to say to your mummy Brodie”
Brodie turns to me with his big brown eyes. “Sorry mum. I’ll be good now. I love you.”
Officer: “and what have you got to say to me Brodie?”
Brodie: “Are you going to underarrest my mummy or not?”
Officer: “No Brodie I am here to see about you. What are you going to do?”
Brodie: “I’ll be good. Sorry, now can you underarrested my mummy?”
Offiver: “No brodie but your going to be good so I don’t have to come and see you again”
Brodie: “can I go in the car next time?”
Officer: Brodie are you listening to me?”
Brodie: *sigh* Yes I”M listening to you. I’ll be good so you won’t have to come again”. (shoulders slump, chin hangs on chest”)
Officer: So you will stay inside the yard and not go out the gate again”.
Brodie: “I won’t officer, I’ll be good.”
Officer: “Ok Brodie you can go now”
Brodie hops down off the verandah, runs down the front path, out the front gate and starts skipping merrily off up the road on another adventure.

The look on the two policemen’s faces  “Priceless”

There is only Brodie’s world. You are part of his world, he is not part of yours.

Brodie lives in a world of his own. Oh he talks to others, when required but won’t sit and have a discussion on the merits of one pokemon or bionicle toy over another. Mind you if you touch his bionicle, or he loses it, there is hell to pay. Until that bionicle is found, its really not worth living.

 

My favourite expression uttered millions of times daily to my other children is –

 “where’s Brodie”

One Time when I was in Cairns at the pool on the esplanade I had to go and change Kahleah’s water nappy in the toilets, so I said to my eldest daughter Krystal (19 at time) could she watch Brodie while I went and put Kahleahs knickers on. I changed her and walked out again, Brodie was gone and Krystal was talking to a “boy”, yet another one that couldn’t walk past her boobies.

I had been less than 2 minutes. The search went on. He was nowhere to be seen. Well he was eventually found 2 kilometers away on one of the luxury Yachts in the harbour. He had walked in on the yacht, told them a fake name, (he told them his middle name) said “nice yacht” and then ignored the owners sitting there and set about exploring the yacht, opening cupboards, checking everything out and generally have a good sticky beak. That’s just Brodie, he wanted to see inside one of the yachts.. so he did. You can’t tell him his not allowed to wander off and jump on multi million dollar luxury yachts willy nilly. He does not understand. He wanted to learn all about Yachts. So he decided to go and learn about yachts.

After all this is Brodie’s world and He can do what he wants. That Yacht was only put there for Brodies use.

Brodie talks in a language all of his own. We call it “E Speak”. E speak is a particularly grating high pitched continuous E sound that can turn your brains to jelly and fry your blood in an instant. Brodie E’s when anything doesn’t go right. It is a very painful process for anyone listening and can make you wish you were deaf, if not send you deaf.

Can I have some coke?
No
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Can I go to the park
No
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Can I have a movie on
no
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

 

Objects

Brodie attaches to objects. He has to have something in his hands. Last week it was “Stamper”. Stamper was an empty silver office stapler. (I learnt quick never given him staples to go in it or he would staple the cat to the sofa). When you tuck Brodie in bed at night you find the object under his pillow. He won’t let it go to toilet or bath. He eats with it and won’t be separated from it to go to school even, which of course has a no weapons rule and Stamper along with Brodie’s other “object” choices, could well be classified as deadly weapons.

Have you ever tried getting a “stamper” as well as an arm inside a shirt sleeve of a morning?

 

Rope

Brodie loves rope. He is fascinated with rope. Often his “object” is a piece of rope which he will continually tie in knots everywhere. There will be rope from one end of the house to the other, twisted up, knotted here and knotted there  on this piece of furniture, or that pieces of furniture. Best experience for mummy was walking out to a dark kitchen in the middle of the night to find that Brodie had “roped” all the chairs together in the middle of the floor. I think I woke the whole town up with my yells.

Last week Brodie was being “difficult” and I set him in my bedroom in the retreat part on the recliner and turned to put the CD in the rom tray with my back to Brodie. He hadn’t spoken to me for an hour except to yell a few no’s at me when i asked him questions, so as I bent down I hear this little cheeky voice, “Can I tie you up to the chair mummy” and then he started giggling. That’s Brodie.

 

Clothes

Brodie wears what he wants to wear when he wants to wear it. Or not wear it depending how he feels. He has no shame so is quite content to strip off naked and play in the water pools at the side of the road. He prefers to be naked.

If Brodie wants to wear something, he wants to wear it. Now Why can’t he wear that pink shirt. It looks nice. Why can’t he wear shirts over shirts over jackets, he thinks it’s cool and why does he have to wear shoes. Wasn’t born with shoes, why wear them. Brodie will dress in a nice shirt and shorts and add a clown hat to the ensemble. That’s Brodie.

Food

Brodie will only eat what Brodie wants to eat when Brodie wants to eat it.

a typical evening conversation will go something like this

Brodie “I’m hungry mummy”
Me “I’ll be dishing dinner out in a minute
Brodie “What’s For dinner”
Me ” Morrocan Lamb Roast with Vegetables
Brodie (now yelling) “I hate lamb I don’t want lamb. I want a vegemite sandwich eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”
Me (sighing) reaches for the bread and vegemite

Brodie “I’m hungry mummy”
Me “I’ll be dishing dinner out in a minute
Brodie “What’s For dinner”
Me ” Corned beef and white sauce with baked spuds
Brodie (now yelling) “I hate beef I don’t want beef. I want a vegemite sandwich eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”
Me (sighing) reaches for the bread and vegemite

Brodie “I’m hungry mummy”
Me “I’ll be dishing dinner out in a minute
Brodie “What’s For dinner”
Me ” chicken schnitzels salad and fries
Brodie (now yelling) “I hate chicken I don’t want chicken. I want a vegemite sandwich eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”
Me (sighing) reaches for the bread and vegemite

Same conversation .. different nights..

Brodie will not eat cold food if its meant to be hot  (meats and breakfast cereal) and will not eat most hot foods.

BUT

Having said all that I have to dish Brodie out a serve of dinner and put it in the fridge because later in the evening or early the next morning (he is not fussy about eating cereal at night either) the conversation goes like this

Brodie: I’m hungry mummy can I have dinner
Me: You didn’t want dinner before you wanted a sandwich
Brodie: I want Dinner now
Me: But you said you don’t like it
Brodie: But I Like it now eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Me goes to microwave and heats up dinner for Brodie.

Ok so now you are thinking I am a bad mother for not making my son eat the lamb/chicken/beef. The stress it causes to Brodie to try and force him to eat what I want him to eat is too painful for him and us to endure. If I don’t make him that sandwich he will focus on that for the rest of the night, not do anything else but eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and not do anything he is asked, not sleep and not bath. The next morning it continues with a very angry child STILL demanding that sandwich. His brain only focuses on that sandwich and you could offer him ice cream with chocolate and he will still scream for that sandwich. He will scream for that sandwich until he gets that sandwich. A week later he will have eaten nothing and still be screaming for that sandwich.

Once Brodie has his mind set on something, it is the here and now, there is no later because later he will feel completely different then but until the moment’s need is met, there is no change, no movement, no motion forward.

This however is the same drive that Aspergers use and take to create positively. An Aspergers person will not give up until the problem at hand is solved. They use extreme logic in thought patterns. Everything is black and white. Everything has a reason. Every Question has an answer and they WILL be the ones to solve it.

Brodie has already had an IQ test when he turned three by a paedatrician who said he was genius and off the scale back then. It was hilarious though. The doctor lined up all a series of toys and asked Brodie what each of them was and what they are used for.

So the doc tests him and asked Brodie as he pointed to each one what each was, a car, a train and so on. Well by the fifth toy Brodie was bored. Why the hell was this idiot asking him stupid questions for.

So he clammed up. Brodie clams up so well.

Then the doctor prompts him and points to a toy,
What’s this one Brodie
Brodie: Silence
“Is this a plane Brodie”
Brodie: Silence
“Does it fly brodie”
Brodie: Silence
“Come on Brodie you know what this is. Is it a plane?”
Brodie: “No it’s a helicopter silly, can’t you see it’s got two rotors on it”.

The doc looks at me, I’m trying to hide my smile and he shakes his head and said Brodie was off the scale and that he had Aspergers and ADHD tendancies too, too which I said that’s crap, he just doesn’t take chemically poisoned food to well.

See while most people just eat food with preservatives and additives in it and not feel or act any different, it grates on Brodie’s evolved brain and the chemical cause instant imbalance.

You call him naughty

I call him your canary

why do I call him your canary?

Years ago coal miners used to take a caged canary down the mine shaft to the rockface with them. Mining and methane gas pockets often met with catastrophic results, so the canary was an early age warning system. If the canary turned feet up in the cage, it was time to get out. Methane was leaking.

That’s what Brodie is to you. Your own personal canary. Your warning system for toxic products. If a product or food bothers him, his body is fighting it, and trying to get rid of it, he burns it up like lightening in the rush to expel the toxins. They call this ADHD. If it bothers him, then its not good for the body, any body.

 

Brodie after his MMR Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccination

You, well you don’t notice a thing in you, your not hypersensitve like Brodie is. But after a while your body notices, you suffer and you get sick. Real sick

Brodie doesn’t, his body long ago refused to have anything like that near him.
People with Aspergers are considered to be socially inept and have difficulties communicating.

This is not actually so. You are the one with the social awkwardness and Brodie knows that. You see Brodie sees all, he sees your hand flutter as you tell a lie, the blink as you embellish a truth, the shuffle of the feet, twitch of a head, they are all computed within an instant, recorded and able to be played back at any time like a video in the mind. Everything that goes in is absorbed, examined and cataloged as experience.

See Brodie has no time for crap and small talk, he loves nitty gritty and finding out “what makes things tick” and that includes people, he WILL work you out and know your deepest secrets. He will know what you fear and what you like, just by being in the same room as you. Every reaction and movement you make registers to him. He sees and feels all. Everything is heightened. Everything is filed.  He sees in patterns, your patterns and the minute your pattern changes, he knows.

And deep in your unevolved brain you sense that this kid knows more about you than you do and it scares you. It suits you to think he is the one disabled because it helps you feel better about yourself and your own inadequacies.

You can reason with a child that does not have Autism. You cannot reason with Brodie because he is a God and a King. What he wants he wants, what he doesn’t want he dismisses with a flick of his hand.

and he is a God and he is a King because Brodie and the Brodies of this world are your future. They are the ones that will take you to the next levels of developments. These are the geniuses allow you to live your cushy lives and not have to think.

 

Scientifically, emotionally, artistically and more, they are evolution.

These Children are your gift from the Gods.

They are not disabled, you are.

Treat them as they should be treated,

nurture their genius,

love their romantic soft loving souls.

Don’t be hard or cruel

and most of all

Never look down at these children

You should always look up to them

 

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