I went first scanning the world around me for 30 seconds. So what could my mighty mind recall. With my scatter gun memory approach, it was over in a few seconds. I remembered some birds flying overhead, a few clouds, someone cutting the lawn, bit of a breeze, plane flying overhead, a car, a number of cows, think I saw a sheep and a dog barking (not ours). I was quite impressed with myself until my son’s turn. I knew I had lost the challenge when my son’s first words were “17 cows”. The list he came up with was something like:
- 17 cows,
- 6 sheep,
- 7 birds in flight (4 crows, 2 starlings and a bird of prey possibly a Buzzard),
- 1 bird whistling in that hedge,
- 2 more birds chirping in the other hedge,
- 3 aeroplanes, looking at the cloud trails one of the planes has four engines,
- 1 lawnmowers in the distance,
- About 15 white clouds,
- 2 Wasps or Bees buzzing behind us,
- A couple walking a white dog in the distance near the far gate, which they didn’t close. The dog is barking,
- Someone has fire on as I can smell the smoke, given the wind direction it might be the farm,
- 2 cars and probably from the sound of it a bus driving up the road,
- Next door has the television on, it’s loud
- plus ‘you tried to put me off by pumping’ – (sorry thought I’d got away with that one).
I was expecting my son to win this observation game. I remember watching a programme by TV nature presenter Chris Packham in which he was talking about his Aspergers. In the programme he demonstrated how much he sensed and detected from his surroundings. It was just beyond my comprehension. Part of me was hoping that our little game would demonstrate to our son some of the positive elements of Aspergers. What it did demonstrate was how much sensory information his brain was having to deal with. When I looked only a few minutes later so much had changed. He’s processing all this sensory information all the time. I get why he likes listening to rock music, it helps block out some of the sensory distractions. I’m not sure what his Headteacher’s would say if I recommended playing Motörhead over the school p.a. system. Anyway as we walked towards the house our son smiled and said “ah the sweet smell of a barbecue or is it the cakes you put in the oven”. What would a Sunday be without burnt to a crisp fairy cakes. Just grand.