We Grow Flowers Not People

Melody Kramer – Autism Mom

School has started, and the homework has started to come home. For my eight-year-old autistic son, he had a paper to fill out titled “about me.”

I tried asking him these questions that were on this paper, but he didn’t quite understand. Usually, I have to do a lot of prompting.   One of the questions was, “what are some of my favorite things?”  He doesn’t grasp the word favorite, so I asked, do you like pizza? He replied yes. And it went from there.

Another question was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He answered, “A flower.”  I was surprised he said a flower. So I asked again.  The same answer. I asked are you sure that you don’t want to be a teacher or maybe a police officer when you grow up? He still wanted to be a flower.

It was a cute answer, and funny. I said if you want to be a flower, you can be a flower. Then I started thinking. The question I asked, when you “grow” up what do you want to be.  The way his mind may think it was the most logical answer. A flower grows.  So when I asked if he wanted to be a teacher or police officer and he gave me that strange look I got an understanding of how he was thinking. You don’t grow a teacher you grow a flower.

We are so used to our way of thinking, speaking and understanding a simple phrase, such as “what do you want to be when you grow up.” His autistic mind is so analytical and logical it just doesn’t make sense to him, we don’t grow people.

Now if I ask what do want to be for Halloween? Spiderman is the answer.

I guess we will leave that answer blank for now.  Just a thought, raising children is like growing a flower. We take care of them, feed them, protect them, we do everything to help them bloom.  He may not realize it now, but he’s already a flower in the garden of life.