April 8, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
As much as I tried to avoid it, my boys collect. As with many children with ASDs, they get fixed on one thing and BAM! That’s it for a while. For Bug Boy, the answer to life, the universe and everything is cars. Cars and more cars. Big cars, small cars. One car, two car, red car, blue car. Monster trucks, Nascars and basically anything with four wheels that people can drive. He makes pretend race tracks, builds “ramp contraptions” and knows the name of just about every car on the road just by looking at the manufacturer symbol. Instead of bringing stuffed animals and other comfort items to bed, my boy brought cars. Now, with a father as a car buff this is not unexpected. Some of my first dates with Darling were to the car show. Of course, Bug Boy does tend to fixate on other things, albeit for a short time. Star Wars is ever-present in our home (as is the theme song, which is sung on a continuous loop for hours) and currently we like ships that sink (he read a book about the Titanic). But those will eventually wane. He always goes back to cars.
Eight bins full to the brim of every car imaginable. You can’t tell from this picture, but most of it is in piles on the floor.
You can, however, tell from this picture. But I’m not showing you a picture of the rest of the basement, which looks like a tornado hit it. The tornado’s name is Bug Boy.
This one is special. It is not allowed in the bins with the other cars
Bugaboo has at least been consistent over the past five years. Buses. Big buses, small buses and everything in between. The day he turned three and began riding the bus to school five days a week was the happiest day of his young life. If he could sleep on a bus, he would. And to help sweeten that deal, my mother-in-law even bought him a pop-up bus tent. He takes buses to bed. He takes buses to school. He walks around the house with buses. When I wake him up in the morning? Yup, buses. There is usually the imprint of a toy metal bus on the side of his cheek.
This is how I found him this morning. He was in between the giraffe and the top bus, with the other buses piled on top of him.
Look! More buses!
But wait! There’s more!
Bug Boy has a teensy issue with throwing things away. And Bugaboo is not much different. They HAVE TO HAVE certain things around them at all times. Now, my kids are pretty tame compared to some kids with ASDs. I know kids that have to count to fifteen with everything they do. Like, they will use fifteen colors on their art project or must eat cheerios in groups of fifteen. Lucky for us, this isn’t the case. We just have to cut all sandwiches in four triangles. And food cannot be touching. Oh, and everything has to be quite well-done (in other words, burnt). And the food has to be room temperature, as do all drinks and…
Okay, so they have a little of that Autism OCD going on. It’s not like they are Rainman or anything. I mean, that movie was so stereotypical. My kids are nothing like that, right? Ok, fine, fine, you got me. Perhaps they share SOME QUALITIES. I mean, it isn’t like when you are listening to Bug Boy you feel deja vu all over again because it is like watching the movie, right? OK FINE! He sounds like Rainman! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? Sheesh!