My two sons are on opposite ends of the autism spectrum with totally different personalities. They both are in Middle School. One is homeschooled with the other in special education. One is verbal and one is not.
My son Matthew is 12, in special ed with an aide. He is nonverbal, not toilet trained, drinks only rice milk and has a limited diet. He is on an anti psychotic called Geodon. He gives good eye contact, screams and yells a lot and bangs the walls constantly. His finger prints and marks are evidenced on the white walls. He is a sensory seeker, loves to play with strings, belts and ribbons. You can hear him a block away.
My son Nicholas is almost 14, homeschooled, obsessed with the cat and perseverates on animals. He is high functioning with some social deficits and going through the puberty stage with his voice cracking and catching up to me in height.
These are the obvious differences, but in the home there are some that might surprise the average person. The computer is in the kitchen giving me an open walkway to the living room to see where Matt is, plus the bedroom is off to the right before the table here so he goes in and out there.
He follows me around the kitchen - I cannot sneak anything out of the refrigerator without him noticing and looking in my direction. He is fascinated with the whip cream can that I use to spray into my mouth at times. No one else in the house uses the whip cream but me for my hot cocoa or ice cream. I have to open my mouth so he can see what is happening. The same is true when I remove my dentures to clean them and he all of a sudden is at my shoulder trying to get a glimpse of my mouth.
He helps out quite often in the kitchen. He will stock the rice drink containers in the cabinet, pull apart the string cheese and place on shelf, he will get out the butter and salt when requested and can distinguish between maple and chocolate syrup. He will put away the egg carton and when done eating his fast food fries will shake out the paper bag into the garbage before disposing of bag in the paper bag for recycling can outside.
If he uses the last paper towel he will toss the cardboard roll into paper bag and retrieve another roll from under the sink. If he cannot open it he will hand it to me. Nicholas will toss out the empty roll but not attempt to get a new one out for the next person. Nick will not tear the string cheese apart but lay it on the shelf. Nick still gets confused between two paper bags in house in opposite spots. One is for the recycle bin and the other is to take to get money for recycling since we pay a fee at the store for these.
Matthew gets five cases per month of Huggies Goodnites. They are delivered and left in the living room and we bring them into the kitchen. Matthew will carry a box and drop it on the floor or on island table and try to open it. He will hand me each diaper bag to place in a top cabinet where I stand on foot ladder. He helps in tearing down boxes.
Sometimes during the day while I am cooking I will forget it is Nick and ask for things and he is not receptive, plus usually either doing school work or playing with the cat.
Matthew knows where everything is in the house. Each morning I ask for a washcloth to wipe his face and hands before we leave to go wait for bus. He will put videos and books back where they originated. He is all about order and very organized. He drops the jacket down as he enters the house, goes in bedroom and removes his shoes and puts back in spot, grabs out his homework and gets a crayon to scribble on homework page before handing back to me to place in backpack.
I need to teach him to remove his socks the correct way and not inside out. His aide is working on teaching him how to zip his jacket and we discussed tying shoes this morning.
These are just somethings that make them unique in their own way.