For those with autism, quirks are a natural thing. Even those of us in the neurotypical population have our oddities. For example, I must wake up to a coffee mug full or Diet Mountain Dew. I know, I know, it’s gross to some, but it gets me going, and getting going is a necessity when you’ve got three kids under eight to get ready for school every weekday. It gets me through the daily grind of breakfast, remembering Roman’s medicine, feeding the cat, bundling the kids up in their snow clothes and heading out the door to pile in to the car.
Roman has a new quirk. He must wear his sandals around the house. Socks are optional. As soon as he eats his breakfast and settles in to watch TV for a half hour before heading off to school, he’s got his sandals in hand, asking anyone close enough to velcro them on.
He could have worse quirks, that’s for sure. As a matter of fact, he has others that get a little annoying. He picks certain foods off his plate and sets them on the table, saving them for last in his daily meals. Yesterday, it was the green peppers in his venison concoction. He diligently picked out every cooked green pepper and set it on the table adjacent to his plate before digging in to his meat, corn, and cooked carrots. At the end of the meal, he ate every piece of green pepper that sat on the table. Weird to the rest of us, it makes perfect sense to Roman for some reason.
New quirks surface all the time. The sandals are just the newest in a string of oddities. But they make life interesting and make Roman who he is. And that is a very special kid who’s easy to get along with and even easier to love.