Autism is often referred to as a communication disorder, so it would seem odd that I am a poet, fiction writer, and playwright. Especially given our difficulties with metaphor. And yet, I would argue that it’s precisely those difficulties which drew me to the language arts. The way to really figure something out is to do it. Also, it seems that this attitude may run in my family: my brother, who is dyslexic, is a visual artist who primarily does text art (pen and ink, and paintings).
All three of my children are nerds. My sons love Star Wars, and all three have plush germs. Melina has a rhinovirus, Euglena, Streptococcus, and Ameoba. Dylan has a Paramecium, and Daniel has a Salmonella typhii. Daniel loves his Salmonella typhii. Recently, I heard him say while playing:
Salmonella typhii will do the trick
He’s the kind of germ that will make you sick!
That’s the kind of thing that can happen when you make it a habit of going around playing with language, turning everything into a rhyme, and generally playing with language with the kids.
Those who have been reading this blog also know that we take the kids to the Dallas Children’s Theater, particularly for their sensory-friendly shows. Daniel also likes to put on shows, of which he is naturally the director. This prompted the recent questions:
Can small children run a play? How much does it cost to buy a stage?
Being a playwright, I naturally wanted to tell him that daddy has wanted to buy a stage for a long time, and that if he could have, he would have by now. But that gets into issues an 8-year-old doesn’t need to know about.
The real point here, though, is that Daniel’s strong cause-and-effect thinking struck yet again. He jumped from wondering if small children could run a play (to which I answered, “Yes.”) to realizing he would need a stage, which meant he would probably have to buy one. I did have to tell him they were very expensive, because if I didn’t, he would be bugging me every day about when it was I was going to buy him a stage so he could put on plays.