|Can trash a room in no time flat.|
"Oh, you know...Mr. Potato Head, Play-doh, messy stuff."
"Yeah, but what's his thing? Like, what is he really good at?"
Oh, you mean the Autism Superpower?
That's exactly what they mean. People see my kid stimming his face off on a tire swing and think he can count cards at a casino. Or maybe he's a secret piano prodigy. They see his wacked-out hair and ask if he's an artist. Yeah, he's an effin' artist. His favorite media are poop and toothpaste.
My son is good at a lot of things. He can make us laugh. He can make us drink. He can make us appreciate every achievement, no matter how small. He can keep us up at all fuckin' hours with demands for cereal and Handy Manny. We're pretty sure he can pick locks.
Can't it be enough that our son can finally, at age five, tell people his name if they ask? Or say what he likes to eat? (His first response to this social question was "food." He's since gotten more specific, which is impressive. Incidentally, an ASD kid liking "food" to eat as opposed to something else is also impressive.) He's worked so hard just to learn to point, people! And you want him composing an opera?
I think they think that if my son has a special gift, then they don't have to feel bad about autism. It's easier for them to take. It's a comfort to think, Yeah, her kid has autism, but in a few years, he's going to invent something better than Twinkies or Paypal, and then she'll be set.
Maybe he will. Maybe he won't. And if my kid develops a special talent, I will shout it from the rooftops.
But right now, I'd settle for him wiping his own ass. That's an effin' superpower. I'll make him a cape if he pulls that off.