Friday, June 26, 2009

Supposed to...

During the last couple of sessions playing with David, the wonderful 5-year-old autistic son of Kathy, I have been wondering.

Now being in the playroom for three and a half years, David has decided to expand his vocabulary and I am amazed by some of the things he has been saying lately. Some of the things he says are clearly directed to me, other things I hear he seems to be telling to himself or maybe to his imaginary friends!

I have been celebrating his: "good to see you" that he has been saying to me at different times during the last two sessions. I also was deeply touched by his "Iris is here" he was chanting while running around the kitchen table when I was filling out the paperwork after our Sunday evening session. I must say it took me a moment to comprehend that he really says these things. It is so exiting! It is so amazing! It is so wonderful that he is clearly climbing out of his shell of silence.

There are things he says to himself that clearly indicate how much he picks up from his environment. The other day he is looking at himself in the mirror while talking about "kun-fu" and "martial arts". Now I know that he and his dad were watching sports on the television the night before, so it is possible he saw a commercial of some kind. I ask myself: does he know what these words mean? Why is he talking about that right now? Is he trying to share something with me? How much more is going on in this beautiful little head?

But this is not what I meant when I said earlier that I have been wondering. This is about the fact David has been saying "we are supposed to..." and "You and me are supposed to...". I never get any further than the words I have written down and I am so enormously puzzled by what it can mean. Does David know what something so complex as "supposed to" means? Does he believe there are things he is "supposed to"? Or is he just chanting a phrase he heard somewhere that he doesn’t understand?

I have been challenging David by asking "supposed to… what?", "what do you mean?" and "who says that?". I told him I do not believe in "supposed to" and I asked him if he believes in "supposed to". I have been repeating exactly the same words in the hope he would give me more, but it always goes back to the same words!

Personally I believe that David doesn't just chant words that have no meaning to him. So the fact that he says "supposed to" means to me he has an association with it. I would love, love, love to figure out what that is! When I know more, I promise to share it with you. Until then I will just marvel at the wonderful way David is starting to share more and more of his inner world...

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