It’s happened again – someone said something that lit my fire, something that proved they have not tried to ‘get’ Tucker. Not one bit. What did they say?
Where is his common sense?
Well…you see…it doesn’t exist and if you have spent any time at least TRYING to get him, you would already know that.
From Wikipedia (not the best source, but a source nonetheless): Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate...It is distinct from basic sensory perception and from human rational thinking, but works with both….Just like the everyday meaning, both of these refer to a type of basic awareness and ability to judge which most people are expected to share naturally, even if they can not explain why. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense)
Huh…so let me pull out just a few phrases here…
- ‘ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people’
- ‘distinct from basic sensory perception and from human rational thinking, but works with both’
- ‘basic awareness an ability to judge which most people are expected to share naturally, even if they can not explain why’
Now, let’s combine those ideas with what we know about autism.
‘Ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people’
- Autism is a brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate, to reason, and to interact with others. (http://www.asmonline.org/autism.asp)
- Perceiving, understanding, and judging would require paying attention to the world. Many people with ASD have a difficult time sorting out their own world – so trying to make sense of others can seem daunting.
- Because language is slow to develop (or not at all) words may be missing the actual meaning. Words (and gestures) are what we use most often to communicate meaning- therefore, understanding our world becomes increasingly difficult.
‘Distinct from basic sensory perception and from human rational thinking, but works with both’
- Many children on the spectrum suffer from sensory over/under inputs. They are not able to ‘correctly’ satisfy their sensory needs – therefore making sense of the world is difficult.
- Children often lack the ability to have spontaneous or imaginative play. They don’t imitate others’ actions – their thinking is only (usually) rational. What matters most is simply what matters to them.
‘Basic awareness an ability to judge which most people are expected to share naturally, even if they can not explain why’
- Judgement? Impossible…at least for Tucker.
- Not explaining why? Fat chance. EVERYTHING must have an explanation…even Black Friday.
- Individuals with autism may spend time alone rather than with others; may show little interest in making friends; may be less responsive to social cues such as eye contact or smiles. (http://www.asmonline.org/autism.asp)
- Many ASD folks resist changes in routine – so the judgement of another’s routine would seem odd.
If it was as easy as ‘having common sense’…
Tucker would not struggle with holiday gathering – Day #76 – Happy Holidays?!?!, Day #77 – For Families, and Day #78 – Host(ess) with the Mostess
Tucker would know he is ACTUALLY NOT a turkey – Day #79 – I’m Not a Turkey
Tucker would know to shut the shower curtain – Day #73 – Friday Funny…a MUST read
Tucker would know that a different bus route is nothing that should paralyze him – Day #59 – Pause, Revisted
Tucker would just know how to handle emotions, peers, and so much of the social world – Day #58, Pause
Tucker would know not to go down the stairs with so much force – Day #56 – Elephant on the Stairs
Tucker wouldn’t break things so often – Day #51 – Goosfraba
Tucker would have no problem with escalators – Day #50 – Overcoming Fear to Trust
Tucker would know that going on a simply hayrack ride is not wrought with danger – Day #47 – Nervous Nellie
Tucker would have been able to develop his own language – Day #43 – Tape Recorder
Tucker would ‘get’ his peers – Day #42 – The Trouble with Peers
Tucker would simply know what to wear – Day #41 – Check, Check, Check
Tucker would understand that rules can change – Day #32 – Rules, Rules, Rules
Tucker wouldn’t get stuck on one topic – Day #31 – Stuck Tuck
Tucker would get social cues – Day #30 – Social Cues
Tucker know what Homecoming is simply because he would interpret cues from his peers – Day #21 Homecoming Amens
Tucker would look at his peers and know what to wear – Day #15 – Fashionista…or NOT