Aaron had an appointment with his autism doctor this past Monday morning. Dr. Ogden, a psychiatrist, oversees the aspects of autism that are not very much fun. This means that she wants to talk about Aaron’s feelings and behaviors.
However, Aaron does NOT want to talk about his feelings or behaviors. Years ago, we tried counseling sessions and it was a royal failure…not because of the therapist but because Aaron wanted to control the conversation and make it all about his movies and games and things like showing her the bump on his chest.
Aaron would rather be poked and prodded and stuck with needles than to sit on a couch with mom and Dr. Ogden while explaining why he gets angry at home or his day group…why he reacts to people and situations with hitting or verbal insults…and what the solutions may be to said behaviors.
Aaron woke up that morning angry and frustrated, which is not the best way to go see the doctor who wants to talk about his anger and frustration. Rarely is Dr. Ogden treated to Aaron’s humor or brightness. Rarely am I treated to such fun Aaron attributes either on Dr. Ogden days until the visit is over and done…and we go to lunch.
Lunch is the ONLY reason Aaron endures these talking doctor visits.
Aaron went from livid to lively as we drove to BJ’s for lunch.
You might say that Aaron can surely control his moods if he does so in a situation such as this.
But with autism, things are flipped. Aaron’s moods control him. You and I can perhaps overcome the heavy mood that weighs us down on certain days, but Aaron’s heavy mood puts him on a track from which he cannot jump. He is stuck until something else redirects him.
And on Monday, part of his mood changer was in the form of lettuce.
When Aaron finished his French fries and scooted his chicken tenders around, there on his plate lay a nice piece of leaf lettuce.
Aaron tenderly picked it up, as if he was slightly scared of it.
Look at his face! 😊
Then he set it on the table.
“I’ve never seen this lettuce,” he calmly remarked.
“What do you mean, you’ve never seen that lettuce?” I asked.
“Well, it’s green!” he answered.
“Green?” I questioned.
“Well,” he explained, “some is black and some is green and some is white. You usually get white.”
Oh, the intrigue of mixing autism with being color blind!
I can totally see that he sees all those interesting colors of lettuce. Once again, Aaron caused me to pause and consider concepts that I would ordinarily never think about.
Aaron then held up the lettuce as if he was displaying a prized conquest.
Then he stared at it as he placed it on his plate again, studying it in such a serious way that I had a very hard time not laughing out loud.
“I didn’t order lettuce with my chicken strips,” he observed.
I explained that the green lettuce was there more for decoration than anything, which he thought was rather odd.
“What flavor is the green?” he wondered.
I had to laugh at that one.
“Ummm, lettuce just tastes like lettuce, Aaron,” I tried to explain. “Why don’t you eat it?”
So, Aaron very bravely took a small bite.
Which led to more bites as he looked postitively scared.
And finally, the lettuce was gone.
I thought we had exhausted everything lettuce related there at BJ’s.
But the next night, Aaron’s sharp eyes spotted lettuce in a commercial. Of all the food items on the screen, Aaron saw a piece of LETTUCE!!
“MOM!!” he yelled. “There’s the lettuce I had in BJ’s!! The brown one!!”
Now we’re on to BROWN!?
I’m making an appointment with Dr. Odgen…for ME!!!