Last night, just to mix things up, Emma watched Lilo and Stitch. When Lilo says – Aliens are attacking my house – Emma howled with laughter and then repeated that line several times as she was getting ready for bed. So here are a few questions I have for Emma that I wish she could answer – Why is that line so funny to you? What does the word, “alien” mean to you? If you had the words, what would you say the movie was about?
I realize I sound like an annoying english teacher, but I actually really would like to know what she would say, if she could. And while we’re at it, here are a couple more questions I’d ask if I could:
What do you hear? Do you hear what I hear or is it different for you? Is the pitch different, the volume, do other sounds compete with each other? Is it hard to tune some noise out and concentrate on the person who’s speaking to you? Is all noise equal? What do you see? Is it just like sound? Do you see patterns? When you look at your box with hundreds of photographs, do you see the images or do you see a pattern or do you see something else and if you see a pattern, does that pattern soothe you? What is it about the string you like to hold and twirl, why do you like it? What does it feel like? What do you think about? Do you have questions, but don’t ask them because you don’t have the words? Do you understand the larger concepts of a story? A movie?
Finally, the ultimate question, the question I will never know the answer to, even if Emma is one day able to answer all the questions I’ve just listed:
What’s it like to be you?
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to: Emma’s Hope Book