To say Star gets obsessed with things would be an understatement. It started many years ago with Peppa Pig, we could recite the script for the program word for word and the songs would be song at bedtime, in the morning and while washing up (and that’s just me!) Then she grew up overnight and at the age of six became obsessed with High School Musical. The movies were watched over and over and she showed me that autistic kids can show empathy while she sat there crying as Gabrielle made her emotional return in HSM1. I’m not complaining, the music was marginally better than ‘Big Balloon, Big Balloon, Bigger than the Sun and Moon’ and Zak Efron was pretty easy on the eye. Since then the obsessions have increased and changed.
When she gets obsessed it’s like her whole life revolves around it, it’s all she thinks about and talks about, all her games revolve around it. I’m assuming it doesn’t take over her school work, but you never know. Maybe they’ve worked out how to do Pokemon Mathletics?
Her current obsession is Yo Kai Watch. This is a tv show and a DS Game. I had to buy her the game while we were on holiday as she was bored, bored, bored without it. She watches You Tube videos about it, sings songs about it (that she’s heard on You Tube) and no matter what you try to talk to her about you can guarantee she’ll find away to include Yo Kai’s in the conversations.
Boo is not so obsessed. She gets upset with her sister’s obsessions because it affects everything they want to do together. We have periods of screen free time that are an absolute rule in our house and that’s when the trouble begins.
‘Let’s play outside’ Boo will say.
‘No, let’s play a Yokai Game, or draw some Yokai, or repeatedly talk about all the million things that Yokai do’ will be Star’s reply.
Then Boo will get upset and angry.
‘All you ever want to do is play Yokai, I don’t like Yokai.’
At which point Star will run off upstairs crying, ‘you hate me!’
After this happened the other day Boo turned to me and said, ‘sometimes I just can’t cope with her.’
I asked her gently, ‘you know she can’t help it don’t you?’
‘yes’ she replied, ‘it’s because she’s Autism.’ (This is not a typo.)
Shortly afterwards I was getting a very uncharacteristic hug off Star as she wept, ‘why do have to be like this, I hate myself.’
My heart broke. But this is something I’m used to. Autism is something we are all used to in this house. I told her gently that being autistic does not mean that she can’t be loved and that we all loved her very much, even Boo. Everyone argues, everyone is different, being different just means that other people may not understand your behaviour, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you.
Peace was restored once again. (For five minutes.)
How about the Little Man? He got frustrated while trying to play with the girls in the garden and came stomping inside.
‘What’s wrong?’ I asked.
‘They’re playing Yokai again, I don’t like Yokai, I just don’t get it!’
Then he stomped over the computer and back onto Roblox.
He rarely plays with both his sisters when they are playing together. Yet he will play with Boo if it’s just the two of them. I think this is because Star appears to refuse to believe that the Little Man exists. This has been the same since he was born. Star was just going into year 1 at school and her baby brother was a few weeks old. Her teacher talked to her about the new baby and asked, ‘did you get a sister or a brother?’
‘I don’t know’ was Star’s reply.
Her teacher tried again, ‘What’s your baby brother’s name?’
again the reply ‘I don’t know.’
A lot of the time she just pretends he is not there. He doesn’t seem too bothered though. She’s five years older than him, she’s too old to understand him. Boo on the other hand loves to play with his toys with him.
As the years have passed I’ve seen the once close relationship between Boo and Star start to drift apart. Boo, doesn’t have the same interests, and Star doesn’t play fairly in as much as she gets lost in the game herself and no-one else really matters as long as they are doing what she tells them to do. Boo gets fed up of this.
Boo has always loved her little brother, but I can see that relationship beginning to change too as Boo matures.
Whatever happens, I do hope they will all look out for each other in the future.
I don’t talk about my older two much but despite them being of different gender and one of them being autistic they are fiercely protected of each other. That doesn’t mean they don’t argue with each other, but when one of them is in trouble, the other one is always there to help.
I guess that’s the best you can hope for?