I recall our fabulous Team Manager, Danielle Thorp, who lead me through the early years when Reid had a home program and our front door was revolving. In one of our many heart to hearts, she challenged me to think of what autistic tendencies I had. If autism is a spectrum (and it is) then we are all on it--somewhere between "normal" and "severe." Well, after not too much thought and her sharing an obsession she has of counting door hinge sections when bored or anxious, I came up with a lifelong oddizm that does indeed put me somewhere on that invisible line. I count, divide, and otherwise group vowels and consonants into patterns. This may be hard to explain and not worth the effort. When driving on long road trips or sitting through boring sermons, I will take lines of text from a billboard, street sign, or program and get to work. I love it when my little division compulsion comes out even--in other words, the pattern of vowel/vowel/consonant, vvc, vvc, vvc, is the same with no remainders in an entire phrase. So, have me committed, or not.
When my mom read A Slant of Sun by Beth Kephart, her first comment was, "you know I am a lot like that." She went on to buy a dozen copies of that book and distribute them to family. To me she expressedd, "now I understand why you don't answer the phone anymore." The beginning of compassion and tolerance is to be able to identify with another.
Reid has some idiosyncracies and behaviors which tell us when he is stressed. Most recently, chewing his shirts to absolute shreds alerted us to trouble on the bus. Behavior always communicates; we just sometimes need help in translation. I also notice that his head rocking behavior serves a purpose for him. He used it productively to memorize his baptism song in one sitting. I hadn't seen his head shake back an forth in a distinctive rotation in a long time, so it stood out to me as functional for him. I could practically hear the rumbling of gears shifting as he effectively switched on some section of his brain.
What about you...how do you seek order, obsess, or self calm?
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Hebrews 4:15