My son Benjamin Charles Prince deVahl Bolden-Monifa, will be 18 years old August 28th, 2021. He is brilliant with a wicked sense of humor. He is also on the autism spectrum, diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS) aka Asperger’s. According to Wikipedia, “Asperger’s is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It is an autism spectrum disorder but differs from other ASDs by relatively unimpaired language and intelligence.”
Benjamin always wears an orange baseball cap, an orange shirt, orange mask, and orange hoodie.
He also has orange sheets on his bed and orange towels in his bathroom.
Ok, so orange is one of his repetitive interests.
A COVD-19 blessing for us is that we were both at home a lot, he doing school remotely, so we saw a lot of each other. A repetitive pattern that he developed was that of literally telling me “I love you” after every interaction with me, sometimes as many as 50 times a day.
Another patterned behavior was of calling me by my last name, Monifa. Although he still does refer to me as Mom from time to time.
When he was ready for me to stop talking to him particularly when I was telling him something he didn’t want to hear he says, “I love you goodnight Monifa” to silence me. (It doesn’t work, I keep talking and he keeps repeating it)
He also requires me to respond to his I love yous and if I did not in a time fashion he would repeat it and say, “you didn’t say it back”.
So, for the record, “I love you Bolden-Monifa!”