Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Passion or Obsession?

I am currently reading a book by William Stillman, Demystifying the Autistic Experience and in Chapter 3 he asks the parent or caregiver to distinguish the person's passions from obsessions or compulsions.  He goes on to explain why but before I even get to the explanation, I am having trouble figuring it out. 

My son loves video games but once he has conquered a game, he is completely done with it.  He hasn't played Wii for a while.  Game Stop loves to see us.  Even Santa brought a 3DS for Christmas but he is over it already.  It is end of January. 

My son enjoys music but there are times when he has no interest and demands the radio be turned off.  He especially wanted the radio on in the car during December because of all the Christmas music.  He loves holidays but I think of that as a temporary obsession. 

My Little Chef
He enjoys cooking but even that has fizzled.  He would rather 'mad mix' instead.  Obsessively pour liquid from one cup to another while making a huge mess.  Oh, and freezing random items.  You never know what is in my freezer.

He enjoys water.  He loves taking baths and swimming. We get him into a pool whenever we can but he doesn't continually ask for it. 

I think he wants to learn how to read but if we sit down with him and get a book out he will run out of the room.  He prefers to page through the book by himself. 

He loves to smash things.  Is this a passion?  We call him the destroyer.  He loves to take small toys into the basement, stand on the couch arm and throw them all onto the tile floor and watch them smash into a million pieces.  Toys, crayons, ice cubes basically anything that can be destroyed. 

He enjoys train rides but hasn't asked to go in over a year.  Other children love Thomas but he doesn't show any interest.  Speaking of Thomas, he doesn't show any interest in cartoons anymore.  He watched the cartoon Star Wars for a while but demands it to be turned off if it happens to come on.  Movies?  That is a new one but not any particular one at the moment.  I think he loves eating the popcorn and drinking the blue slush at the theater the most.

I guess what I'm tying to figure out is my son. This simple task of trying to find out his passion has really thrown me for a loop. I understand his obsessions and  compulsions but I simply do not know what his passion is.  Is it possible he hasn't discovered one yet or we just haven't noticed?  Yes.  Bad parenting?  Possibly.  I'll let you know when I figure out what his passion is.  Until then, I'll keep searching.

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