Monday, June 13, 2011

He Wasn't So Lucky.

As I was walking by with a pile of towels I heard Corbin's friend asking Brian which costume he wanted to wear.  I heard Brian respond, "Cossum".  Corbin's friend repeated the question and Brian echoed it back to him again.

It was then that I heard Corbin pipe up, "He doesn't speak English."

I quickly grabbed a nearby notebook (Big Daddy style) to jot down what I was going to hear.  I wanted to remember where this was going to go and I just knew it would be a bloggable moment.

Friend: "Why?"
Corbin: "I don't know. (pause) Because he has autism."
Friend: "What?  What is autism?"
Corbin: "Peoples just have it sometimes."
Friend: "How did he get it?"
Corbin: "Sometimes you just grow up with it.  We're lucky we did not grow up with autism.  Brian wasn't so lucky."

Several thoughts have been running through my head since this conversation.

  • How abruptly it ended.  They started talking about English and what other languages they knew.  Then five seconds later they were back on the costume subject.
  • That our friend had never questioned this before.  He has been to our house a dozen times and he goes to the same school as the boys, but he's never realized Brian was "different" before today.  I like that.
  • Corbin's blase attitude about autism.  Yup he's got it.  Not a big deal.
  • That last line.  Honestly I didn't think it was going to take that turn when I grabbed the notebook.  I thought Corbin would do the routine of "Our brains just work a little differently" that I have been feeding him for years now.  I have NEVER referred to having autism as being "unlucky".  But that's how he sees it, and I completely get it.


Kelly said...

Very interesting conversation to overhear. I love how your son was so blasé about having a brother with autism.

Christina said...

Corbin is an exceptional young man and this conversation did not surprise me at all.  Brian's lucky to have such a great big brother to watch out for him and educate others!

Karlatrx said...

He did a good job. 

Rianne Ouellette said...

Words from the mouth of babes: how they see things makes us adults see things from their perspectives. What an interesting way to explain autism, and what a smart little boy to take the time to explain his brother's diagnosis with his friend. Heather, great job! I salute you as a mom :)