Grandpa in the House: Defining “Weirdness”

Grandpa is Different.

We all have repetitive behaviors that we do to fill pauses in our day – twirling our hair, cracking our knuckles, tapping our feet, humming the latest pop song. But individuals on the Autism spectrum can do these types of behaviors more often and with more intensity. It’s called stimming.

When does “weird” happen?  I was called this often as a kid.  I dressed badly, was painfully shy, and my hair was a tangled uncombed mop.  My social skills were lacking until my late teenage years.  By then I was spending more time with peers than with my parents.  I learned from my friends how to be less weird.

But when do kids start to identify others as weird?

My son is not there yet.  I love his preschooler’s open mind.  He is completely accepting of others and differences.  It does not occur to him that others are doing something socially wrong by doing whatever comes naturally to them.  It is just what they do.

He has no clue that Grandpa is different from other grandparents.  What differences he can pick up on are based solely on age.  He knows that Grandpa is old, my husband and I are “medium” and he is young.  Grandpa has certain needs because he is old.

Except, Grandpa has always been like this. Read the rest of this entry »

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