Listening, Motor Skills, Naive
L Is for Listening
Listening (as in hearing, not minding) is something that kids with Asperger's are skilled at even when it seems as if they aren't paying attention. They can repeat every word they hear on the topics that interest them, but if you're talking about something that doesn't interest them, they may not be listening.
Nick: If I like something, I'll try to tell you every detail I know, even if you're talking about something different. Just say, "It's my turn to talk now," and I'll try to listen to what you are saying until I think of something I think you should know.
M Is for Motor Skills
Difficulty with muscle control is common in children on the autism spectrum. Their gait might look a little different; they might misjudge the location of a moving ball; and they may have difficulty with motor skills such as climbing, skipping, balance, and running, because they are not sure where their body is in space.
Nick: Mom said she worried that I had a problem when I was 2 years old and couldn't walk or talk as well as my cousin who was the same age. She took me to a special preschool gym that helped me with balance, running, and climbing. I have an after-school aide who helps me throw and dribble a basketball, stretch my muscles, and improve my balance.
N Is for Na?ve
Kids diagnosed on the autism spectrum are often the target of practical jokers and bullies. They are honest and have good intentions, and they believe that others are the same. A fast talker can confuse a visual learner who doesn't hear or process every word spoken and doesn't always understand the nuances. Often, kids with ASP refer to school bullies as friends because the bullies pay attention to them. Also, they may take things at face value and believe things without question or skepticism.
Nick: I saw a program on TV about the apocalypse. When I told my grandma, she said that people have been predicting the end of the world since she was a little girl. I said, "But this time it is true. I saw it on the Discovery Channel, so it has to be true." She told me it was the Mayan calendar and because we weren't Mayan I could stop worrying, so I did.