Autism: Soup du jour
by Pamela Mari
I've seen it written by many autism experts that if a child on the spectrum expresses a desire to learn, or a talent for a given activity, that should be fostered and encouraged. I suppose tonite's activity falls under that umbrella.
My son was watching "Barney" wherein the story of "Stone Soup" was acted out by the children. If you are unfamiliar with Stone Soup, the plot is that a traveler teaches a group of farmers how to make soup from a stone. The idea is that by sharing everyone benefits.
It's 9pm on Tuesday nite. Second day back to school after summer vacation. A lot of getting back into the necessary morning routines and getting away from staying up late and getting up late.
I leave the room for a moment and come back to find a chef's delight of vegetables on my stove. Celery, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes. Joey has garnered from the fridge all the ingredients he wants to use to make "stone soup".
As mentioned, it's 9pm. We have to get ready for the next day of school and it's hard enough to get my son with autism to separate from preferred activities. I can see this "super soup" making us way too late in getting to bed. Why do kids always wait until the middle of the night to request help with a project? What's wrong with asking for help at 4pm?
He seemed to be however, proud of himself for finding all the ingredients needed for the soup so I went along with it. He enjoyed adding the veggies to the pot and even went back to the fridge to look for additional goodies to add to the soup. Plus it seemed to me to be a more thought producing activity than sitting at the VCR scripting.
"You can eat vegetable soup and it will get rid of your "suds", he told me. (Spongebob Squarepants refers to a head cold as "the suds".
I think we set the land speed record for making a pot of homemade soup. It wasn't half bad either.
It was one of those "pick your battles" moments. I'm glad I didn't choose to quote the Seinfeld episode and say "no soup for you!"