Thinking outside the box is what my Asperger’s child does – all the time. It’s completely normal for him. What’s difficult is thinking inside the box, thinking like the rest of us ‘normal’ people do. As he gets older, he recognises that his peer group (and adults) may not be arriving at the same conclusions as him. They too are learning to value his opinions as different rather than wrong.
When he was about 6 we visited a farm and had a tractor ride with other visitors around the fields. The farmer talked about growing cereals and asked the children if they could think of any. “Millet” replied my son, as quick as a flash. All the adults laughed and he went very quiet. Afterwards we explained to him that he was right, but they had been looking for an answer like “porridge” or “Weetabix”.
Today I heard that my son’s English group have been writing poems about unusual animals. So, think of an unusual animal, double it, think of something you’ve never thought of before… and that’s the candiru. My son is writing a poem about a candiru, a fish-parasite that enters the human body via any possible orifice causing unimaginable damage and ultimately death (according to popular mythology).
For Mother’s Day this year he gave me a hand-made card saying “Happy Mother’s Day” in 10 languages (thanks to Google). These included languages with non-English alphabets. Inside, the card was written in Latin and illustrated with a cartoon of a Roman cart stuck in rain on the ‘MIII’ motorway with a road-sign saying “delays” in Latin. I was delighted; it is the apotheosis of him.