~* magical imagination *~

Who says kids with autism don’t play or think imaginatively? 

tinkerbell-movieYes, they are often visual kids.  And yes, sometimes Super Literal.  I’ve been reading some wonderful blog entries lately with funny anecdotes about kids on the spectrum not being able to lie.  Or about teens trying to grasp the concept of “a little white lie” like when you say:

“Thanks for the sweater, Nana, it’s great.”

when what you really think is:

“Ewww!  I don’t wanna wear that ugly thing!”

Alex is particularly cute about lying.  He can bend the truth a bit if he really wants something.  He’s so charming and manipulative, my boy.  He’ll avoid the true answer by trying to divert your attention.  As in:

Me:  “Are you hungry?  Do you want more dinner?”

Alex:  “Five minutes til chocolate cake?”


Me:  “It’s time to go home.  Where are your shoes?”

Alex:  (big grinning hug)  “Mommmm.  I love you!”

alligatorBut when it comes to yes/no questions, he’s stuck.  He just doesn’t know how to outright lie.  It’s like Roger Rabbit jumping out of his hiding place singing “Twoooo biiiiitttts!” when the movie villian taps out “Shave and a Haircut” on the table.  Alex just has to respond.

Alex:  “Mom, go downstairs to the living room, ok?”

Me:  “So you want me to go downstairs while you stay upstairs?”

Alex:  “Yes.”

Me:  (laughing)  “So you want me to go to the living room so you can stay upstairs and do something I told you not to do?”

Alex:  “Yes.”

Me:  (grinning)  “Okay, my little wiseguy, what is it that you wanna do, huh?”

Alex:  “Mommmm.”  (insert charming smile here)  “I love you!”

hot-air-balloon-8There is so much more going on inside the minds of children than most adults ever know.  With Hannah– who is, for better or for worse, as talkative as her mama– I know much of her thought process because she can verbalize it.  With Alex, I have to trust what I’m not able to hear.  And whenever I “take it on faith” that there’s a whole world going on inside Alex’s head, there always seems to be a wonderful moment of verification of his amazing imagination and creativity.

One of those moments is actually what prompted me to write today.  The background story is that our bedtime routine for the last couple months has involved my reading chapter books and poetry aloud to the kids.  We’re currently going through the Magic School Bus series (which I recently discovered is Alex’s favorite– see the Happy Birthday post!).  A few nights ago, Alex and Hannah did bedtime with Daddy without me.  Since reading aloud is kinda my thing, they decided to tell a story together instead.  It went like this:

Dad:  Once upon a time

Alex:  in a forest

Hannah:  Tinkerbell

Dad:  and an alligator

Alex:  went to a giant

Hannah:  to make their dreams come true.

Dad:  They dreamed of flying

Alex:  and they flew away on a blue balloon.

magical bookThe End. 

Magical imagination indeed!

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. donnahuebsch
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 20:47:57

    So cool how the kids made up a story with Dad! Sounds a little like an improv routine from Who’s Line Is It Anyway?


  2. Tam
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 23:03:25

    cute 🙂


  3. Sue
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 00:05:23

    I love this story! I remember Magic School Bus days with my two. My daughter liked it first, but her little brother soon loved it too. Story time with Dad is precious. I sometimes miss those days. My two are 12 and 15 now, so no more precious nighttime bedtime stories. The closest we get is when we all gather in our room on our bed to watch a movie together. I’m afraid even that rarely happens anymore.

    I also loved the way you write about the love your children share. I think I envy you that. I know my two love each other dearly, but we had a time when the green-eyed monster was more evident in our home than the love. It was made worse by our lack of understanding of my daughter’s sensory sensitivity before she was diagnosed and then later by the bullying. It was not fun! Mostly, they get along now, but the green-eyed monster occasionally raises his ugly head again.

    I went back to the birthday post and was so touched by the love I could tell you feel for both of your children, but especially for your boy. I love the idea of your son being a drummer for a rock band. My daughter plays piano and viola, and my son takes voice lessons and loves theatre. My daughter also plays around with composing on the keyboard in her room although she tells me she doesn’t want to be a music major and she rarely shares her music. Oh well!

    I don’t write about them on my blog because they are both already at that age where I have to be careful about not embarrassing them. Thus the novel instead of a true story. I don’t know if you’ve looked at any of my posts about the book I wrote, but you should. I think you would like it.

    Aloha your blogging buddy,


  4. bbsmum
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 03:12:56

    Lovely story! I used to try to get BB to make up stories. They were all variations on “X went to the shop. He bought sweets. The end.” I need to work on that imagination!


  5. fiona2107
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 00:47:30

    Great story Cathy….they are clever kids!

    It sounds like you have your hands full having to think of different ways to interpret Alex’s way of thinking….go Mom!


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