05 July 2012

My thoughtful little boy

Last year, I discovered a book called The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aaron. I've never been one for the self-help / parenting help genre; my inner cynic kicks in and tells me it's all a crock - but this book changed my life and my relationship with my son.

It took three years of struggling to put my finger on why he was not quite like other kids, and I don't mean in a 'everyone's unique' kind of way, more of a 'is he on the autism spectrum?' kind of way.

Since birth, he has been incredibly perceptive. We are so attuned to each other; I know what he's going to say before he says it and vice versa. He is acutely attached to me and aware of where I am all the time. He sees things and notices smells and that other people would never notice. He doesn't enjoy surprises, even parties and fun things. He gravitates strongly towards rules and structure especially when he's playing. He prefers to be inside playing quietly, is terrified of swings - even other kids swinging, even my bag swinging on my shoulder - he doesn't like toys or cartoons with a 'sad face', loves Thomas but will only listen to it from two rooms away because it's too scary to actually watch, worries about his daredevil sister getting hurt, prefers to wait (almost exactly) two hours before joining in with other kids and a host of other things that made me despair at why he hardly ever seemd to just be happy.

On the flipside of all those difficult to deal with traits Tyler is funny, smart, thoughtful, generous, loving, and most of the time, a fantastic big brother. This is what I had in mind when I created this layout. I hope I can guide him through the world without changing his complex, beautiful personality.

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