My ds was at recess on Tuesday and ran under some playground equipment and cut the top of his head open. I took him to the ER and he had to have two stitches. He was crying when I brought him into the ER and while filling out the paper work I told the nurse that the school had told me he was sleepy after the incident so she said well the doctor will check it out. The doctor came in and started to ask ds questions to which my ds would not respond. The doctor looks at me and says "I'm concerned because he is not responding" so I told him that ds has Autism, so he said "I'm glad you told me I was wondering why he wouldn't respond". I on the other hand had a lump in my throat because it was the first time I had said it out loud to the world that my ds has autism and in the presence of my ds.
When we got home my son was full of chat telling his grandparents and dh all about how brave he was getting his stitches and how he couldn't wait to show them at school tomorrow. After dinner I am loading the dishwasher and my ds looks up at me with his beautiful brown eyes and says "Mommy what's autism" I almost dropped to my knees and froze. I wasn't ready for this question and honestly didn't know how to answer him. He's 4 1/2 and I just thought that this question would be much later in his life. I guess he heard me telling the doctor earlier and was thinking about it.
So I put on a big smile and said "It's means that you are a very special child and that you see the world in a different way" he just shrugged his shoulders and went to watch TV. I went into the power room and cried, why did I cry I don't really know I guess I am not ready to talk to my son about his autism and I didn't have a great answer for him. I just didn't know what to say or even how to explain autism. I feel like I failed him in giving him a generic answer.
Has your child asked you this question yet? If so what did you say.