When I Feel Tired: Stevie’s Perspective


I woke up really early today. I wanted to play on the purple computer so I kept myself awake. When I heard my little sister get up, I got up too so I could ask my dad if I could play. He said it was too early and I would have to wait until 10:00 am. I needed to keep myself awake so I decided to act out one of the movies I really like.  I like acting out Honey I Blew Up The Kid! because there is a lot of crashing in that movie, so I will crash things too, and I love crashing...a lot.

My mom and dad do not like crashing at all. They took my big trucks away because I was throwing them while standing on top of the back of the couch. It was the best way to act like I'm in the movie. I like to be Adam when he is a giant toddler.  I also like the part where the real cars look like toy cars in giant Adam's hands. So I had to stand up there to throw the trucks down. It was the only way I could get the truck to look like it was the one in the movie, and for me to feel like I'm as big as Adam.

Since I didn't have my big cars and trucks, I had to come up with some other ideas of what to use to act the movie out. I decided I would use my little sisters stuffed cat to be "Big Bunny" and I used her dollhouse to be the house. That would be fun to throw on the floor and hear it crash.

I especially like anticipating the reaction of my mom and dad.  They run in shouting, "Stevie, no throwing toys!" and then they tell me I will have a time out if I keep doing it. But I like it so much and I need to keep myself awake so I did it again. Then I got a time-out and they said I couldn't play with the computer even though it was 10:00 am, because I had to go to my room. I couldn't calm down though. I kept playing loudly in my room so I could stay awake and wouldn't miss my time on the computer.

Around 10:30 am I was finally calm enough that they said I could play on the purple computer. I tried to find You-Tube videos of Honey I Blew Up The Kid so I could memorize the script better and learn the sound effects and background music. My dad said that was not allowed so I opened Garage Band and iMovie, and started creating my own videos.

I like to sing songs in multiple parts and then play them all together to make the different harmonies. Sometimes, if I don't like the words the song has, I will change them. I recorded Math-U-See's Skip Counting Facts song about the multiples of 7. I like to do the multiples differently so I recorded myself singing and saying, "7-14-21-28-35-38-43-51-58-63-70". It drives everyone crazy when I say the wrong numbers. I know the right ones, but I like these numbers in the song. So I recorded my voice correcting the numbers in Garage Band and blend it with the track of the Skip Counting Facts by Steve Demme. Then I imported it into iMovie to make the video. When I played the "Official Song" for everyone, my mom called me a stinker. I think she really liked it though.

When my time was up on the computer, I wanted to make it my own choice to end the time. I don't want anything else to make me stop when I am not ready. So I do something that will make my parents take the computer away from me. At about 5 minutes left of my time, I take the computer and turn it over on it's side. I used to just throw it off of the table but then I lost the computer for a forever-long time. I don't want that to happen so I just turn it on it's side to make my time finish on my own doing. Then I run to my room as fast as I can with my hands covering my ears because I KNOW it is coming:  Mom and Dad are going to call after me and tell me not to do that!  I like that part too. It's kind of like my routine now. It's just what I do.

But this time, my mom said I could not have the computer again at 6:00 pm because I tilted it on it's side again. I am supposed to be gentle. Now, I have to earn it back by being good, and since I lost it at 6:00 pm, I have to earn it for playing at 7:00 pm-- if I am good. I was not happy about that at all. That was a change in the schedule that I did not want to happen.

Then I remembered how tired I was because I didn't sleep much last night. I decided to watch Doc McStuffins and lay down on the couch. Now that I have to wait so many hours to get my computer time again, I might as well rest up so I will be awake for it. Plus, my new in-home supports person is coming and I don't want to play with her yet. Maybe I will just sleep through her time here and I won't have to play. Anyway, I want to play with my Mommy, not her.



Are You Someone Else?


My 9 year old Stevie loves to act out the shows he watches. 

His two current favorites are "Doc McStuffins", or acting out the 50 foot 2-year old, Adam, in the old movie, "Honey, I Blew Up The Kid!"

Thankfully, he is happy to use his toy trucks and plastic doll house as the props and he assigns himself the role of the gigantic Adam, stomping through the house, destroying everything in sight.

Yes, we do worry about the house.

Stevie has autism, and is particularly gifted at imitating these scenes. He memorizes the scripts the background music, the sound effects as well as the body movements of the characters. When he sets his mind on learning a scene, he really learns the scene! He lives and breathes it.

He is very good at being all these other people. Sometimes he gets lost in his scripts and can't focus on being himself. He isn't doing the things that Stevie is supposed to be doing. This happens at school most of the time, when he needs to do writing or math but can't break out of the scripts to take the role of being himself.

When he requests things, he will often follow a script. "Mommy may I have ___" was taught to him at a very young age and he still uses it today.  When faced with wanting to say something that he doesn't have the spontaneous or taught words for, he will often insert a script from a show to get his point across.

For example, when we had our first snow this fall, he sat at the window and started singing, "The snow comes down and the floods come up and the house on the sand went...smooshed away!" This was one of his favorite songs at that time. Since he didn't know to say, "Mommy! Look out the window, it's snowing!!", he serenaded me instead!

He is very good at being all these other people, but we rarely see him being so conversant, attentive and active when he is simply being himself.

I wonder how often we do the same thing?

When someone is a role model for us, we tend to imitate them. We learn about them, we may even act like them at times, or adopt a phrase they use as one of our own. It's not so different from what Stevie does. Used the right way, it can be a good thing. After all, Jesus said to imitate and follow Him (Matthew 16:24)! 

I have heard different artists say the struggle with similar things. Dennis Jernigan struggled with trying so hard to write music like Keith Green because he admired his music so much. But God intervened and told him that the world already has a Keith Green. Now the world needs a Dennis Jernigan--that is why He made him Dennis. Dennis Jernigan has impacted thousands of lives by being himself and writing the music God gave him to write.

It is true for us, too.

God made you and me to be you and me. The world already has the other people we admire. They don't have us, and we are the only people who can be us.

God has given each of us special gift and purposes that only we can fulfill. He made it for us, not for "that person". His plan isn't for the talented and gifted people of the world to do everything, because they are so good at it.

His plan is to use each of us to do the things he created us to do.

I wonder what the world would look like if everyone played their own roles and fulfilled their purposes that God created them for?

What do you think? 

What is your role, and how are you developing it? Let's discuss it in the comments!