I read a story about an eight-year-old Aspie boy in Tony Attwood’s “The Complete Guide To Asperger Syndrome”:
She smiled at him, and was about to suggest he went into the garden to join Alicia and her friends when he said, ‘Alicia’s birthday present is one of those special dolls that my mum says every girl wants, and she chose it, but what I really wanted to get her was some batteries. Do you like batteries? I do, I have a hundred and ninety-seven batteries. Batteries are really useful. What batteries do you have in your remote controllers?’ Without waiting for a reply, he continued, ‘I have a special battery from Russia. My dad’s an engineer and he was working on an oil pipeline in Russia and he came home with six triple-A batteries for me with Russian writing on them. They are my favourite. When I go to bed I like to look at my box of batteries and sort them in alphabetical order before I go to sleep. I always hold one of my Russian batteries as I fall asleep. My mum says I should hug my teddy bear but I prefer a battery. How many batteries do you have?’ She replied, ‘Well, I don’t know, but we must have quite a few…’, and felt unsure what to say next.
Her daughter was a very gentle, caring and maternal girl and she could understand why she had ‘adopted’ this strange little boy as one of her friends. Jack continued to provide a monologue on batteries, how they are made and what to do with them when the power is exhausted. Alicia’s mother felt exhausted too, listening to a lecture that lasted about ten minutes. Despite her subtle signals of needing to be somewhere else, and eventually saying, ‘I must go and get the party food ready,’ he continued to talk, following her into the kitchen. She noticed that when he talked, he rarely looked at her and his vocabulary was very unusual for an eight-year-old boy. It was more like listening to an adult than a child, and he spoke very eloquently, although he didn’t seem to want to listen.
Eventually she said, ‘Jack, you must go into the garden to say hi to Alicia and you must go now.’ Her facial expression clearly indicated there was no alternative. He gazed at her face for a few seconds, as if trying to read the expression, and then off he went. She looked out of the kitchen window and watched him run across the grass towards Alicia. As he ran through a group of four girls, she noticed one of them deliberately put out her foot to trip him up. As he fell awkwardly to the ground, the girls all laughed. But Alicia had seen what happened and went over to help him get to his feet.