Autistic children tend to develop deep, narrow, often-unusual interests. Dmitry breaks several autism stereotypes and tendencies, but this one he grasps firmly and holds high in his strong little hands for all to see.
- Musical toys. If it has buttons to push with lots of flashes, so much the better.
- Spinnies of any kind. If he’s bored enough he’ll even spin a pencil on the floor. Windmills, toy car wheels, his sit-and-spin activity toy, toy fans, real fans, actual vehicle wheels (even if he can’t make them spin) and so on. If there is a spinnie in your house, he WILL find it and he WILL spin it.
- Brushes. He’s loved brushes since one fateful day at Walmart. Here he is that day last year when he first discovered the cleaning section. I’ll be posting more brush pics (there are SO MANY) in subsequent posts.
- Forks, and forks only. Keep your spoons, keep your knives. It has to be a fork. Preferably a metal one, but a plastic one will do in a pinch. Bonus points for unusual-looking forks, such as salad forks.
- Dum Dums, or any other lollipop. He’s pretty hit or miss on candy. He likes some chocolate, but not ice cream at all. He rarely eats pie, but will take a bite or 3 of cake. Oreo cookies are RIGHT OUT.
- Pianos. He loves pianos. He’s played piano since he could barely walk. He’ll eagerly slap my back helpfully as I play, or wedge himself in and add his cacophony to the music.
Here, Dmitry has discovered octaves and is plucking them quietly. He’s not quite 2 in this picture.
- Water. He squeals with joy at stomping around in puddles made by the boys with the backyard hose. He runs gleefully into any rain, face upturned, glorying in the feel of water on his face. It’s like he thinks God himself has scattered liquid joy from the sky, just for Dmitry’s reveling pleasure. Almost before he could even walk, as soon as his hands were strong enough, he learned how to turn on the bathwater and flood the bathroom.
- The outdoors. He’s always happiest when he’s outside with sky above him.
- Opening things and slamming them. This one has faded a little in his pursuit of other interests, but he’ll still rarely pass by a door or cabinet without giving it a good slam. Before we parents knew we were drafted into the autism army, we chuckled endlessly as we watch our “so different!” boy opening cupboards, closing them, and flapping. For hours. Before he could walk, before he showed any interest in talking or toys or anything. It was cabinets, and only cabinets. I thought maybe he was “flapping” to keep his hand out of the way of the slam, learning to avoid an ouchy pinch. But no, that’s just how our little boy laughed before he found his voice: flappyflappyflapping away.
- Flapping. This kid loves flapping, loves it when other people flap, loves birds flapping, and just loves frenetic arm spasms however they come.
I can’t wait to see the next thing that catches his fancy.