The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.
When I was in high school, my English teacher looked at me and said, “name two pronouns.”
“Who? Me?” I said.
This is what I imagine social interaction is like for my son as a child on the autism spectrum.
It’s like understanding the subtle distinctions of English grammar. Verbs. Nouns. Adjectives.
Adverbs. Pronouns. Prepositions. Conjunctions. Interjections.
I didn’t begin to really understand and care about grammar until I was well into my twenties.
Until then, grammar didn’t make much sense or I was not old enough to appreciate it.
Grammar was like fine wine.
So, it may take time, as it did with me to grasp grammar, for my son to develop his social competence.
The main thing is, he and other kids on the spectrum need to have as many social interactions as possible.
No one learns anything without practice.
He is comfortable talking with mom and dad. We know most of his animated tv show references.
We can fill in the gaps in a conversation.
However, talking with his peers is more unpredictable, and it can vary from one context to another.
Then, there is the difficulty of finding kids, matching schedules, and organizing time for them to play.
It’s not like the old days when the kids lived on the same street and went outside and played all day.
But I imagine a conversation is like “improv” acting. One person says a thing, another person responds.
Each person continues to say a new thing, the other person responds, and a chain develops into a scene.
Just like a conversation.
Maybe I need to enroll him in an “improv” acting class. Not a bad idea.