10 January 2018

Dear Friend,

Yesterday, he lost...

I could feel his frustration building during the game. It was a simple game of luck, one which he had no control over.

With each spin of the dial he moved further away from safety and edged closer to a meltdown.

My boy has never played fantasy games, he has never played with figures or toys. Except for a dizzy (from Bob the Builder) which he took everywhere with him and constantly spun the bucket. He lined things up or whizzed cars down a ramp over and over again.

But as he got older we purposefully bought board games that we could play together to support his social development.

He has always had a deep seated desire to win, a need to be right.

We first noticed it when he was very young. Initially I blamed myself. Had telling him to always do his best been counterproductive?

But I knew it was more than that...

His rigidity of thinking means that to him it is essential to always win and that anything else means failure. He simply does not understand that not everyone can win all the time.

It isn’t always fun for us, especially for his brother. We have tried to explain that Alex would like to win sometimes too because he lacks the theory of mind to see this himself.

Seeing his anxiety build is heartbreaking but it also makes me feel frustration. Again we are denied a peaceful afternoon of play. Again my son is left distraught. Again my youngest son is distressed, confused.

My son is trapped beneath the immense weight of his own expectations.

Yesterday he lost...
We all lost!

A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore the impact autism has on our family on a day to day basis. Disclaimer: this is our experience not all autistic people are the same.

More autism awareness posts...

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