When you have an SPD child, you learn quickly that there are some things that they fixate on. They live it, breathe it, want to know everything about it. When Andy was 2 it was big trucks and construction equipment. He could name every piece of heavy machinery by picture. He knew if it was a front loader, a bulldozer, or a forklift. We would be driving in the car and he could point one out going the opposite direction.
Andy's latest obsession is Bakugan. He has Bakugan characters and he has a Bakugan Nintendo DS game. He sometimes watches Bakugan on television.
And he talks about Bakugan A LOT. I mean, all the time. We can be driving in the car, talking about something completely different, and he will bring up the latest Bakugan battle he had on his DS, or the ability card he wants to use.
That's something SPD'ers tend to do. They go off on a tangent, completely change a subject, and don't even think anything of it. And then they have a hard time reading nonverbal communication so when someone gets frustrated or tries to change the subject back they don't understand.
This is the conversation we just had in the car earlier today:
Me: When we go to Disney World this summer, we're going to drive there. So we'll be spending the night in a hotel on the way down there.
Andy: Did you know that Dragenoid has a G power of (whatever) and when I used my ability card of (blah blah blah) I was able to battle 5 people at once and win?
Andy: I didn't think I could do it because I only had one ability card and it wasn't the (blah blah blah) ability, so I thought there was no way. But then with my (such and such) Bakugan I was able to beat all 5 of them and now I'm ranked number one.
Me: Oh, ok.
Andy: So, Mom, if you ever play it, you need to make sure to use (such and such) Bakugan with (this or that) ability card so you can defeat (so and so).
Me: Sweetie, I really don't know anything about Bakugan. And, besides, I was talking about our trip to Disney World.
Andy: (sounding frustrated) I know Mom, but I'm trying to help you so if you ever play Bakugan (like that's EVER going to happen) you'll know what to do.
Me: Thanks sweetie. So you want to teach me how to kick your butt in Bakugan if I ever play against you?
Andy: (Totally serious) Mom, there isn't a kick your butt ability card. And besides, there isn't a way to play against me.
Me: Oh, ok.
This is the way it goes. Lots and lots of conversations that I don't understand and Andy being extremely literal. He doesn't understand sarcasm. He is completely wrapped up in whatever is in his mind.
I try really hard to not get angry at him. He isn't trying to be rude. But other people don't get that. Other people think he isn't paying attention. Or that he's just being disrespectful. But that isn't it at all. He knows what's going on...what the conversation is. He just thinks his Bakugan conversation is more important. Because in his jumbled up mind it is.
So, if you ever want to learn about Bakugan, he's your guy.