Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My dear brother Adam.

 I haven't really talked about my brother yet. He is one of the greatest things in my life. I have scores of stories about him. I need to be better about sharing them and writing them all down. I promise to be better.

Some of you already know Adam and If you've ever heard an Adam story you know that to really get them sometimes you just have to know Adam. He's a real treat. Adam has high functioning Autism (which is different from Aspergers.) he is the only boy out of 6 children. He sits at #4 in the ranking order. He has a funny loving and caring personality. He loves movies. Especially Disney movies and musicals. He loves to be goofy and to joke around with his friends and family. He can also be very literal. He likes to gives hugs and Is very social compared to other autistic individuals. He is very forgiving and has a tender heart.

I found some basic info on Autism that I felt was applicable to Adam that I've shared below.

In general, people with High Functioning Autism tend to make fairly frequent social mistakes because of and involving their inability to accurately predict someone else's thoughts, feelings or reactions to something, in the same ways as the non autistic person. They may also forget to use many of the basic social pleasantries (e.g. forgetting to knock before entering a room; or when greeted with "how are you?" they may not reciprocate by following on to ask how the other person is).
Another problem they face would be their naive understanding of social interaction may cause them to be overly trusting of all people and thus, more vulnerable to being manipulated by others. They may then be considered as lacking "common sense".
The autistic person may appear somewhat removed or disconnected at times, especially when placed in situations where they experience sensory overload, or when they are placed in settings of extreme social pressure, such as during a party, or in a crowded bar. Additionally, they may make only limited levels of eye contact, even during one-on-one encounters, which can then lead to them being labelled as being "shy". (Adam is very social. But on occasion he can be very removed and seclude himself.)
People with High Functioning Autism normally will like routine and order.  These traits may be seen as early as childhood (e.g.: as a child organizing movies in a certain order). They may also limit their daily choice of clothing to only a select few choices. (Royal Blue shirt anyone?)
When a person with High Functioning Autism is interested in a particular task or subject area, they will often work on it intently. If uninterested or they lose interest for some reason, they may just ignore the task all together, or maybe try to change it to reflect one of their personal interests, or perhaps only do the "bare minimum" required to complete the task. With High Functioning Autism, the preferred method of working may be to produce a complete rough structure, or draft first, and then to focus intently on taking it through many incremental revisions until the task is completed.

So here is our story.

Sunday September 4th was Joshes Birthday and the 8th was my neices and on Monday my family all went out to eat at Golden Corral. (Joshes fave.) In their honor. Adam is very perticular about his hair. (I should have known this him growing up with all girls and all.) With him being the only boy its hard to remmember that boys get frequent hair cuts. He likes it short on the sides and a little longer in front and on top so he can spike it up to make a "Fender" Like his buddy. So I would either take him to a lady and get it done or I would do it myself. And Adam has come into the habit of saying to me. "Is it maybe time for a hair cut maybe?" Which translates to. "haircut please." So after we get back from eating he asked about it. I told him I didn't have my clippers with me. But he said he thought he had some so he digs them out and I put the guide on and start to shave away. (It had grown really long.)
 Well I noticed that it wasn't cutting very well so I turn them off and re-attach the guide and try again. Then out of the corner of my eye I see Adam making this face in the mirror like a sour/silent bitter beer face scream while  I run the clippers through his hair.

So I'm like "Adam! Does it hurt?!?"  he says " yeah... kinda." So I say "Well you gotta tell me honey. " Good thing I saw his face. Else he would have had a super painful hair cut. So I grease it up and start slower and he makes the one eyed sour/silent scream face again. So I look closer at the clippers and see they are just vibrating and making noise but the clipper teeth arn't moving back and forth which actually cuts the hair. So I tell him. "Bud I'm sorry they aren't working." So he says "Maybe we could borrow Rachel's clippers?" in a panicky please please please voice. So I ask my sister Rachel about borrowing her clippers. She consented but before we left to go get them I ask Adam "Do you want to wear a trash bag so you don't get all itchy during the hair cut?" he says "Oh yes!" So I get him one and tell him "Go cut a hole for your head to fit through" Because I distinctly remember him trying to pop through the bottom of a garbage bag and it ending up in a battle of wills and the picture of poor Adams squeezed stretched out face finally breaking through the bottom of the bag will never leave my memory. So I distinctly tell him. Cut a hole for head and arms. So he goes and does just exactly as I ask and brings me this.

Adam takes a lot of his social cues from trying to read faces and he will study yours and if he doesn't understand it. It makes him nervous. Adam can be insecure at times and he worries when he might have got something wrong. So he brings me this...garbage dress? Apron? Jumper thing and he's like. See! holes. Head and Arm holes. Just like you said. I'm a good boy. So when he saw the look on my face....he got confused as well. All I could say was " won't keep out much that okay?" So then he was like. "uh.... oh.... uh..." so I told him "well we can make another one or you can wear this?" He quickly said. "This one." (Like Ummm duh! I tots love this one! kinda voice) I told him okay.... Go show mom first though. Mom and Rachel had the same reaction I did. "Oh....Okay...Your cutting his hair here inside right?...well okay....looks good."
 My mom is a seamstress and has made many dresses for us though out the years. So Adam I'm sure has seen patterns around the house. So maybe that's along the lines he was thinking. It really was cut so well and precise and fit his arms, brought out the color of his eye's........ It gave me such a hardy laugh. I Enjoy Adam so much.

XOXO ~Nan~


  1. That is a great story! Well written too. :) Thanks for sharing it.

  2. ADAM!!! I love you! nan, I laughed out loud so loud and hard! my neices that i am watching looked at me like.. what the?? They asked what was so funny and I showed them adams garbage dress and they said it looked good. they are 7 and 9. :)