Joey went to see the eye doctor today. He's been struggling with reading, and we wanted to eliminate the kinds of issues Andy was facing. Cutting to the chase on that front, his eyes are perfect. Physically.
I picked him up early from school; the appointment was at two. He was thrilled. He's been having rough days, but today went very smoothly. Even so, he was glad to get out of school- hey, he is a ten-year-old, right? Who doesn't want to get out of school early? So off we went, with him chatting merrily down the road about Mario and Luigi and thwomps and...
"Mommy, do I have autism?"
Well, now, where did that come from?
"Yes, dear," I replied simply.
"I'm autistic," he said with a grin. "What is autism?"
So we chatted a while about what autism means- about thinking differently, and seeing the world in his own unique way, and how his is good at math and better at it than most of his friends, and yes, it makes him different and makes it more difficult for him to talk.
He seemed very happy with all of this, and you could see the little wheels turning in his head. We did not discuss the language of person-first or self-identity.
After a moment of quiet, he announced again, "I'm autistic!"
Then he returned to Mario Brothers. This time, he was telling me all about Buzzy Beetles; subject he also cheerfully instructed everyone about at the eye clinic.