What’s Your Super Power?

“So, what’s his super power?”

superbrianI have seriously been asked that question about a half dozen times.  Granted it’s been a few years since the last time, and I hope that is a representation of autism awareness growing.

Sometimes people have seen Rain Man one too many times and think they know autism.  Or they saw the story about the guy who can draw entire cityscapes from memory, amazing by the way.  And the guy who can tell you what day of the week it was on any date in history.  Or the kids who can pick up an instrument and play music they’ve only heard once.

Those people are rare.  Much rarer than the 1 in 68 kids now being diagnosed with autism.  They are considered savants.  The estimated rate of savant abilities in the autism community is about 10% and only about 1% in the non-autistic population.

Brian has no magical, amazing savant abilities that I’m aware of.

However, if I had to pick him a super power I guess it would be one of the following:

    1. The ability to make anyone that works with him fall head over heels in love with him.  This is a truly priceless power.  He needs people around him that truly love him for when he’s having those days of self-injurious behaviors and complete noncompliance.
    2. The ability to function without sleep.  We’ve been on two weeks of terrible sleep around here, ever since Daylight Savings Time.  I have no idea how he functions and is so happy during the day with the amount of sleep he has been getting.  I know that I have been an absolute grumpy and sleepy mess.
    3. Amazing sense of direction.  He always amazes us that he can remember the way to his favorite train museum that is about an hour away and he hasn’t been to in over two years.  It might be borderline savant, but it’s not consistent and he only uses it for places that he loves.
    4. A million dollar smile that gets him out of anything.  Omigosh, I challenge anyone to not get weak in the knees when he truly lets out the largest grin.  You’re all ready to yell at him for sliding down the banister for the millionth time and he giggles and smiles and you have such a hard time scolding him because all you can think about is how cute he is.
    5. Super human hearing.  He can be upstairs in his bedroom playing with his toys.  I can be downstairs with the dishwasher going and the radio on.  And as soon as I open a bag of chips, as quietly as possible, he’ll come running down those stairs already repeating, “I want chips please!”.
Heather Nelson

About Heather Nelson

Heather resides in Rockland where she is busy juggling life as a newlywed, a mom to two boys (one of which who has autism), a part time job in direct sales, and a full-time job as a pediatric occupational therapy assistant. She has a love for live music, karaoke, and cheering on the underdogs.