“Well do you?”
Conversations with my son Brandon – some funny and some not so funny.
This was a recent conversation with my son Brandon. Brandon came into my office and said, “Mom do you know about the bird?” Then I hear, “Well Brandon’s gonna tell you about the bird. The bird, the bird, the bird is the word”… and it continues… and continues… and continues.
I have to admit it was one of the funniest conversations I have had with him but he is always doing stuff like this. Brandon is autistic so he tends to repeat things he hears on television or YouTube. He loves YouTube. Unfortunately, not everything on YouTube is good. He also likes to watch the Family Guy, another show that is probably not good. His version of the bird comes from the Family Guy as does his version of Can’t Touch This. He sings them both A LOT!
When he goes out in public with me I always worry about what he will say. He can be quite the entertainer but he also can sometimes repeat things he shouldn’t or touch people or just do something to make people stare at us. He is a little bit strange but adorable at the same time, usually anyway.
He has recently discovered the difference between white people and black people, apparently. And, well he has said a few things that have made me want to crawl under a table. My family is not racist (which I hope I didn’t need to explain that) and it is very important to me that my kids are raised not to think people are different because of their race or any other issue for that matter. My brother is bi-racial and it’s not like I keep him in a closet and we only talk to white people. So I am really not sure why Brandon asks people weird questions about their race.
So here we are on the ferry ride to Mackinac Island and he and daddy were sitting next to a guy that happened to be black. Brandon looks at him and says “Are you black?” Kelly told me this story. I didn’t actually witness this. Then he says, “You know there is a black suit Spiderman.” Kelly said the guy just laughed so hopefully his weird questions didn’t offend him. I really hope not because I know Brandon is just noticing things and asking questions like kids do. Kids don’t always have good sense about the things to ask and the things not to ask.
So I am trying to figure out how to talk to Brandon about this but not sure the best way to go about it. We don’t have normal conversations because he is autistic. I can’t always explain things to him. Our conversations are usually him repeating something from television and me listening. He is hard to communicate with but even though he is autistic I still would like for him to know that it is not okay to say to someone, “You are supposed to be white.” He said this to one of our friends recently and I felt very bad about it.