Autism is . . . Perseverance by Lena Herrington
Race cars, buildings, origami, and teensy weensy bits of paper galore . . . hard work, frustration, pushing through, and more . . . .
D, my 11-year-old, has a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism (HFA).
Children with Autism often perseverate (in our house we call it obsess) over certain things. For some kids it might be cars; some might like a certain movie. In our house, the perseveration cycles, but it nearly always involves art supplies—if a cardboard box qualifies as an art supply. 😉
The perseveration begins . . .
As D begins to perseverate on a topic, he immediately starts to think of ways to recreate it. He puts a lot of thought into whatever is he planning to create. He imagines it and looks up YouTube videos and Google images.
Perseveration turns to the hunt.
He searches for the purple permanent marker that he got for Christmas when he was 7 years old, and he remembers he had it on his 8th birthday and that he couldn’t find the lid, so he put an orange lid on it. We can’t find that purple marker, so he settles for a purple permanent marker that is a different brand, but he is not happy about it!
Then he searches for a roll of packing tape that he is sure he had just yesterday. It was in his room, but if you could see his room! We search, we turn over every piece of paper and blanket and basket in his room, but instead we find it on top of the house in a Christmas stocking full of Easter eggs.
The hunt turns into creation . . .
This little boy is so insightful and imaginative! He looks through the picture files in his mind and pulls out the one of whatever he is making. He knows, without a shadow of a doubt, what he is doing. He knows what he is making and knows how he wants it to turn out.
Creation turns into perfection.
He begins working on this amazing project, and he works relentlessly. He tries, tries, and tries again. He cuts paper, lets out a yell, and cuts more paper. He colors a cardboard box, cuts it up, and builds the Empire State Building or Kasey Kahne‘s car.
Whether D is trying to create an amazing recreation of the Sydney Opera House or working through a difficult time of high anxiety, he perseveres.
He is amazing; he is my hero. This little boy has been through so much, he has worked so hard, and he has overcome so many obstacles. He still has many difficult moments, but he works, he is diligent, and he perseveres through every obstacle he faces.
Autism, in our house, is perseverance!
Lena has been married to her husband for almost 14 years, and they have 4 children. They call themselves a “public schooling homeschool family”. Their oldest son attends a public school with an Autism Support Program, and Lena homeschools their younger children. She writes about faith in difficult situations at Lovin’ My Crazy Life.
Photo credit: Lena Herrington
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