I found this picture while picking up after Joey.
Sometimes I’ll catch him sitting with it, smiling and even seeming to converse with it.
That’s him in the green shirt in the front row. It is a middle school class from the middle 2000s, so around ten years ago.
He keeps it like a treasure. He speaks the names of people in it.
Joey has this amazing long term memory. He can recognize places we visited in his childhood. He holds onto names and details quite well.
This is perplexing, given that he can’t attend to present tasks without constant redirection or give simple answers to questions about what he did in the last few hours. (Of course maybe the latter is just him being stubborn.)
I’m reminded again of a prominent psychiatrist at Texas Medical Center who said, “We know more about outer space that we do about the brain.” That’s part of the aggravation and wonder of autism: the mind is wired mysteriously. It takes a person to most of the same destinations as a neurotypical mind, but by some very different paths.
Care givers are blooming idiots, learning those paths as we grow with those in our care.