AUTISM and COMMUNICATION DISORDER
I got to be a sleuth today. Actually, first thing this morning. Definitely not my brightest time of the day. With very sleepy eyes, Jess says, “Mama, what’s that restaurant we used to go to?” She must have had a dream about it. I answered simply, “I don’t know, which one?” hoping for more detail.
Jess replied, “That one we used to go to.”
Me – “Where was it?”
A little irritated, “I don’t know, that one we used to go to.”
Me – “Was it close to home or downtown.”
A little more irritated, “I don’t know, that one we used to go to.”
Me – “What did you like to order when we went there?”
Irritated, “Not that one, the one we used to go to.”
This conversation was going nowhere fast, except that she was getting really irritated. This was not going to end until I could figure out the restaurant. For every restaurant I named, her response was the same. “No, that one we used to go to.” But I was making progress. When I named a restaurant downtown, she said, “No, not down there.” So, I named several more downtown. “No, not down there. That one we used to go to.”
I made the mistake of naming a fast food restaurant. “NO! Not that kind.” I had to think more abstractly. I had been running through restaurants that we go to, but she was saying “used to.” I needed to think of restaurants that we had stopped going to or that had closed. Ones that were closer to home. Somewhere different from her usual favorites. I named a few other chain restaurants, Chilis, Applebee’s, Logan’s… “No, honey! The one we USED to go to. The one here.”
Oh my gosh! I might have it…
Me – “Acoustic Cafe’?”
“Yes! Yes, that’s it; Acoustic Cafe.'” Jess says.
She turned and walked away. She had nothing else to say about it. The conversation was over. That was it. Jess just wanted to remember the name.