Sunday, August 12, 2007


Today we ran up to my aunt and uncle's for a dip in the pool- Joey's request. Last night, that sweet little guy asked if he could "go swimming, go to beach, go swim with the cousins" meaning my cousin's twins and a trip to my aunt and uncle's to swim in their pool. I called them immediately to ask to come, and they were all for it. Yay, the part of the family that gets it!

A good time was had by all.

Then we got the usual signal that it was time to go. Joey began to perseverate.

We had been there all afternoon. The little guy was tired. His brother was exhausted. They were having fun. My aunt has one of those wooden German calendars on her wall, and one of the little wooden peices is, of course, a number 12. This is Joey's favorite number.

I am not sure why 12 is the number of choice. I could theorize on the subject, discuss the patterning and the sequential allure of the number 1 next to the number 2 to create the number 12, or a whole gambit of other associations possible, many of which would seem completely random to most people, and incomprensible to anyone not intimate with autism generally and Joey specifically. Whatever the reason, perseverating the number 12 means bedtime. Tired. Done. When he starts going on abotu the number 12, it's time to check for tiredness, exhaustion, or (if in the middle of the day for no apparent reason) fever. This is one of those ways Joey communicates that is hard to explain to people who expect other people to simply state what they need, or use words and language in direct ways. These are the kinds of little signals we've always picked up on with Joey.

12. {I'm tired.} I was 12. Give me 12. Look, a 12. I am 12. Where's the 12? 12. 12.

Fortunately, this is the part of the family that gets it, because they raised the daughter of another cousin, who was special needs (epilepsy and probable FAS). So when I suddenly announced it was time to go, and hustled everyone out the door and to the car, no offense was, I believe, taken. I think the sudden change in demeanor was a cue for them, too.

He's right now 12-ing on Allan's recliner. We don't have the heart to move such a 12 boy.


kristina said...

I'm thinking of "the twelfth of never" --- whatever way the communication comes, can't be half bad, and more than half-good.

Jennifer said...

I learned a new word today...perseverate. I'm sure I have a lot more to learn. (I'm singing the twelfth of never in my head now)

Heidi said...

It's such a joy and such fun to be with people who 'get it'! We don't have many in our extended family, but boy do we value the company of those who do 'get it'. Glad you had a nice time!

12 is a good number!

Bonnie Arnwine said...

Its great to have a safe place to get refreshed and be with people! Enjoying your blog.