As I mentioned on my blog Celebrate the Autism Spectrum (click here), I get excited when any child in the World of Autism does anything beyond expectation. It may be a one-time thing, or it could be the sign of something big on the horizon. Doesn't matter. To those of us who know and understand, even the littlest leaps are amazing.
Friday Nolan made one of those unexpected leaps. His paraprofessional told my wife today that, while working with Nolan, she somehow caused her finger to bleed. Well, Nolan noticed, and at first reacted as we figure he would.
“Are you OK, Ms. Lafayette?” he mumbled as though his mouth was full of marbles, trying so hard to speak as fast as we do.
She showed him her finger; it was bleeding a little, but she assured him she would be fine. Undeterred, he told her, “Be right back.”
“It’s OK, Nolan. I’m fine,” she tried to convince him again. Opening the classroom door, however, he told her over his shoulder, “Stay here.”
Ms. Lafayette was curious at this point where the journey would take him, so she ducked into the hallway a short distance behind him. She wanted to give him his space, while still intrigued by what he intended.
“Stay ‘dere’,” he commanded again when he saw her tailing him, and he turned the corner toward the school’s front door. Ms. Lafayette was not worried, though she ducked through a shortcut to arrive first near where she was sure would be his destination.
Opening the office door, Nolan struggled at first to get the school nurse to understand his desire. “Bandage,” he stumbled. She was confused, so he repeated, “I want bandage, 'puhweeze'.”
Upon seeing Nolan’s aide, the nurse understood. She handed him the supplies he needed, and he headed back out the door. Ms. Lafayette scooted back down the side hallway, hoping to meet Nolan at the other end. As soon as they found one another, Nolan tried to open the package and put the bandage on Ms. Lafayette’s finger.
He did all of this unprompted. All by himself.
He also likes electronics. A lot. When it isn't time for him to use the iPad or computer or watch movies, Nolan will scour the countryside (that is, every room in the house) looking for a stray, unguarded cell phone. Lori, Kaleigh and I recently acquired smart phones, and they are as functional as any computer. Leave one without a lookout, and he is on Netflix or YouTube, playing, pausing and rewinding the same two or three seconds of any interesting video he can find.
Friday night I was the negligent adult, and he wore my phone out until the battery died. I tried to get my phone from him as quickly as I could, without any luck. By the time anyone had gotten to him, Nolan had pulled a switcheroo; somewhere in the fuss, he had unplugged his mother’s charging phone and replaced it with mine.