Day #366 – Tucker’s Turn

I gave Tucker several opportunities to write along the way – he, of course, declined.

I finally was able to get him to promise he would write for today…alas, no luck.

He did, however, want to say something…so we thought about video, we thought about me transposing his ideas, we thought about audio.  Finally  – we settled on an interview.

So, here are my questions (in bold) and his answers (in italics). This is a direct transcription….

Tucker, so everyday people have read the blog that’s about you and our family.  I’ve written every day for 365 days.  Tell me what you would want people to know about you.
I have no idea.  What do people want to know about me?  What’s important to me is that I get good grades in school, I get enough sleep, I eat healthy.  I like to do sports like football and basketball and for a hobby I like to play video games. My favorite teams are the Minnesota Vikings for NFL, the Minnesota Twins for baseball, and the Minnesota Wild for hockey.  Pretty much I’m a Minnesota kid. I like most sports from Minnesota.

Tell me who is your favorite member of our family?
(laughing)

Your mother?
Why are you asking me this?  You know I love all you guys.  I love all of you.

Tell me what you think it means to have autism.
It just means that your brain doesn’t work the right way. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to go work somewhere where you know other normal people usually don’t work or go.  It doesn’t mean you’ll go there. Cause people with autism can do great things.

Yes they can.  Tell me with your autism, what do you think autism makes you really good at?
For one thing I have a really good memory.  If you ask me anything about NFL football, especially the Vikings, I will know the answer.

That is right.  Do you know other people who have autism?
I know a couple.

Are they the same as you or different?
Different.  My autism isn’t as bad as other people.  There are some people who go to Goodwill and work for the rest of their lives because they can’t do regular jobs because of how they think. 

If you have friends that have autism, how are they different from you?
Well, sometimes they can’t control their hands. Like they have to have their hands on something.  I guess that’s kind of like me because I can never stop moving.  It’s just a thing, like if you ask me to sit still I won’t.  I can’t.

We know that sometimes you struggle with eye contact.  Right now you’re giving it to me because I’m talking about it.  Okay, you can stop staring at me.  You are freaking me out.  
Sometimes I don’t think it’s necessary.  During football and class I try really hard to look at my coach or teacher, but then I start spacing out like I sometimes do, so I really have to concentrate. I try to keep my eyes on them, but if it’s just my mother asking me what I want for supper it’s not really that important so I don’t waste my energy.  I only have so much I can take so I try to do it when it’s most important.

You sometimes have to go to a special classroom.
Yes.

What do you think about that?
I think I just want to complete my goals and leave it.

There are other kids who stay in that classroom all day long.  How are you different?
Well they can’t handle other kids and loud noises.  They just need to be in a peaceful room by themselves spending one on one time with their teacher so they can get their proper learning.  I used to be more like that but with everyone’s help I’ve learned how to deal with the regular classroom.

Do you sometime think you can understand where those kids are coming from?  You know…kind of like a translator?
Yes.  For sure.  Well..sometimes.  Yes.  I’m not the best – but I can understand them.  I just know when I walk in the room I could tell someone was going to have a tantrum.

So, how could you tell?
There is some frustration going on between the one on one.  I knew that so I knew it was going to turn out bad.

Yes.  Your teachers and coaches all know that you have autism.  How do you feel about that?  Do you think they treat you differently or the same as the other students?
I feel like they treat me the same.  I feel like they give me a chance and everybody else a chance.  I like that a lot.  

Tell me what you would like people to know about autism.  Whether its yours or someone else’s? What would you like people to know and keep in mind when they meet someone who has autism?
I would like to not be too overwhelming.  Just start with a few simple questions, make sure there isn’t too much like, “Hey what’s your name” and all of that straight away.  You gotta be like,  “Hi.  How are you?” then maybe someone wants to tell you their name and then you can keep going for a little bit.  Then you’ll ask a few questions and that’s all.  Just don’t overwhelm them straight away.

What would you like people to think about autism?
It’s something that happens to your kid and if it does happen then like it’s okay.

Tucker, I told you about you having autism in 1st grade.  Do you remember that?
No.

Okay.  Do you think that its smart for parents to tell their children or do you think I shouldn’t have told you?
I think it’s smart because then they know they have a reason that they aren’t doing well in school.  Then they just try way harder which is good, but at some point they will overwhelm their brain with all of the things they are trying to figure out.  Then they are just going to feel depression and that’s what would happen.  Knowing helps me know why I sometimes struggle.  It’s not me, it’s autism.  Which is me….well…you know what I’m trying to say.

Yes I do.  Tucker, are you happy?
Well, yeah.  I mean I have some mini Doritos right here.

Estelle, do you have any questions?
Estelle:  Yeah, like two.

So, Tucker.  When mom is talking to one of her friends in the store what do you do?
Wait.  But after five minutes I tell her it’s time. Let’s go.  Let’s go. C’mon on! 

Does it every frustrate you when she doesn’t come?
(Laughter)
Well it depends.  If she’s talking about something that doesn’t even matter – which it usually does, but it does get annoying and repetitive.  You know Estelle – she’s always talking to someone. Like you can count on her talking to Jill at the W, it’s just a given.

Estelle:  What would you do if you could change one thing about life?
I would make it so I would never lose anything again.

Estelle:  That is pretty good actually.  

Tucker, do you have any last words for people who have read my blog and learned your story?
Thanks for reading my mother’s story about me.  That’s all.

I love you Tucker.
I love you Mom.

There you have it.  He would prefer to never lose anything again.  I know one thing he won’t lose…my ever-enduring love and admiration.  Thank you, Tucker. Thank you for letting me share you story.  You’re awesome, dude.

If you are still interested in other blogs you can find them classified by topic (updated today) on this page:  Day #327 – Indexing.

Well…that’s all for now.  My husband is taking me on a celebratory weekend to Chicago, and I don’t have to take my computer.  We’ll be watching The Zac Brown Band perform at Wrigley field tonight.  In honor of that…I’m leaving you with one song that I play often when the world of autism just feels like too much.

I often need to remember to quiet our minds and soak it all in .  It’s a game we can’t win so we might as well enjoy the ride…because we’ll end up right where we need to be.

Why NOT us?

I hear the waves
Sun beatin’ down on my shoulders
It’s a near-perfect day
Wishin’ I wouldn’t get any older
They say that it’s gone ‘fore you know it now

Quiet your mind
Soak it all in
It’s a game you can’t win
Enjoy the ride

I feel the change
Goin’ on all around me
It’s strange
How I’m taken and guided
Where I end up right I’m needed to be

Quiet your mind
Soak it all in
It’s a game you can’t win
Enjoy the ride

At the end of the water
A red sun is risin’
And the stars are all goin’ away
And if you’re too busy talkin’
You’re not busy listenin’
To hear what the land has to say

Quiet your mind

I hear the waves
Sun beatin’ down on my shoulders
It’s a near-perfect day
Wishin’ I wouldn’t get any older
They say that it’s gone ‘fore you know it and
Soak it all in
It’s a game you can’t win
Enjoy the rides

Signing off for now…’see’ you next week.

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5 thoughts on “Day #366 – Tucker’s Turn

  1. This saddens me.i knew this last day will come still…am I going to see you again?
    I am very very thankful to you, and your family for sharing your lives with us. Please don’t forget ian my aspie grandchild, and his emotional grandmother hah. I am crying now, again, Nikki. I have known you barely six months but I am very sad knowing I am probably communicating with you for the last time.
    The part about eye contact is cute, he freaks you out hah?!
    I’ll try to remember that whenever I think about you…
    God bless always.

    Like

    • Yes you will…yes, you will. I’m still here – working on a new blog right now! I’m not going anywhere..but just won’t be writing EVERY DAY. Smile Binky!!

      Like

  2. Thanks to you and your wonderful family. It has been a great education.
    Now I hope you have some time to sit back, relax, and take it all in. Just enjoy the ride for a spell😄

    Then work on getting your blogs published😄

    Like

  3. Pingback: Day #327 – Indexing | 366 Days of Autism

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