What is it about certain numbers? He just doesn’t like certain numbers and if he hears them he will interrupt. At first I would just try to ignore it and hope that it would be something that would pass and not become something that would embed it self into our daily lives. Sometimes if we lightly acknowledge then talk about something else Johnny will move on. We just didn’t count on the fact that Johnny was very passionate about numbers and has strong feelings about them. We also didn’t realize that Johnny would be frustrated about the complexity of the spelling of the English language and how this would involve numbers.
I think I figured out why he doesn’t like the number two. It took me awhile. I thought it was he didn’t like losing to his sister or not being first up the stairs so that’s why he didn’t like the number two. But its never simple when it comes to Johnny and there are always many layers to every answer or question. There is the multiple ways you can spell the word and the various meanings depending on where you use it. There is too many ways to spell it and then there is going to the store for two things. That’s when I saw the pattern. My son doesn’t like the ambiguity of the English language. I don’t think anyone does but there I go again. Then there is the number four and where do you use the word for? Good question Johnny and yes it is not easy to have to listen to the sentence and figure out the whole meaning of the sentence and the context that the person is using it in.
Now don’t get me started about the number 6. Every single time we say that number he says “not seven.” His little sister just turned six and she was getting so frustrated because she couldn’t just enjoy being six. “I am only six once Mommy!!!” Soon I figured out that Johnny also doesn’t like even numbers and prefers odd numbers. “Three is more balanced Mommy. If you have three things that are alike you have a beginning, middle and end so its balanced.” I had never thought about it that way.
When I re-read what I just wrote I realized I used a contraction and Johnny doesn’t like those either. Let me correct that, Johnny does not like that either. I feel like I’m no I am living with a little Professor who is constantly correctly my use of words just like you have read in the sentence. He will interrupt me in the middle of saying something and tell me “I don’t like” and he’s referring to a certain word I’m saying. Then when I think about it and it seems to be okay for HIM to use the contraction “I don’t like.”
The quirks of Autism are complicated and multifaceted. I am lucky that Johnny can speak as we try to navigate and decipher why some of this bothers him so. A few years ago we could only guess at what bothered him and little did we know that it might have been choices of words we used or numbers. I personally think that’s why we had some behaviour stuff when he was younger and was non-verbal because he literally couldn’t tell us what bothered him.