Monday, April 14, 2014

Just What DOES He Know?

This has been a question that has been rattling around in my brain for a really long time, well two years at least.  What exactly does Asher understand?  Is he aware of what is happening around him?  How does he process information?  Can he connect all the dots?  Some of the dots?

Quite often, Asher will be staring off into the distance as I talk to him.  He seems completely oblivious, happy in a little dreamworld or something, when he will all of a sudden sign something I've just said.  He is obviously right there with me.  Sometimes he'll come out with signs I didn't even know he knew and have no idea where he picked them up at but when I check my signing resource he's spot on.

Last night our dog went missing.  We didn't realize she was gone until suppertime, by then she'd probably been out roaming for more than two hours.  The older kids and I talked about it and prayed for her at the supper table, Asher munched on his supper and smiled at all of us, no recognition that anything was amiss.  He went to bed just as easily as normal and had a great sleep through the night.

This morning Adam brought Asher into our bed to snuggle with us.  The first signs he said were 'puppy' and 'sad'.  We were blown away!  That little fellow is no sloucher!

It is beautiful to see how present he is!  It's also a little terrifying, to be honest.  What happens when he runs into someone who is unkind, rude, disrespectful?  It's so easy for us, as 'normally-functioning' people, to write off those who have mental disabilities as clueless, absent, ridiculous.  And if we see them in that way then teasing, bullying, abusing doesn't really matter because it doesn't really affect them anyway.  And we don't have to feel disturbed when meanness happens in front of us, we can go comfortably about our business.  But when we start to see how much they understand, how much is going on in the deeps of their mind, we cannot be so comfortable anymore.  We actually have to start caring because they care, we have to be upset because they are upset, we have to take a stand because they are trying to but they don't have the force to back it up.  We need to be that force.

So, how much does Asher know?  I have no idea.  But I'm pretty sure he will find ways of letting me know and surprising me all the time.