Sunday, May 28, 2006

My Little Weather Man

What’s the weather like today, like today, like today? What’s the weather like today…?

The weather is…Sunny!

Yesterday it was cloudy. Tuesday, quite sunny and Monday was rainy.

I perseverate on the weather. And seasons. And the lunar cycle (the next full moon in Southern California will be June 11th). Mostly because I think all of these things have an effect on any living, breathing organism and as I believe that autism is a magnifier of our environment, I think the these things have an even greater impact on individuals with ASD.

What’s the weather like Today?
Is a script from a children’s book that I read to my class per my friend’s Stephen’s request during circle time. I cannot think about the weather without thinking about my little friend Stephen who had an avid appreciation for the weather and seasons as well. “My little weather man” is what I used to call him, and his morning job was to report the weather each day to our class and make sure the arrow pointed to the appropriate description on our weather circle (although someone needs to redesign one of those for Southern California…perhaps replace “Snowy” with “Smoggy” among other things). And whenever the weather changed during the day, he made sure to let me know “Miss Squaregirl, I’ts sunny! It’s not cloudy. Uh-oh! Look Miss SquareGirl, Sunny! Its’ sunny! See? It’s not cloudy!” To which I would respond, “Thanks Stephen! Well you better go change the weather report then!” And he would proudly run up to the front of the classroom to reposition the arrow to the correct picture.

And every morning, as soon as he entered the room, he wanted to talk to me about the season. Two days after it became winter, he began to ask me “Is it Spring? When is Spring? When is it Spring?” to which I would tell him “Not yet Stephen. It’s not Spring yet. It’s (number) many days until Spring.” And we would often go to the calendar and count off the days together. But Stephen really wanted it to be Spring. And everyday, he would ask me about Spring, want to talk about Spring, almost NEED it to be Spring, until one day, about three weeks before Spring, he asked me “Miss SG. Is it Spring?” and when I replied “Not yet Stephen. It’s not Spring yet.” He smiled at me triumphantly and announced “Yes it is! It’s Spring! The mom said! THE mom said it’s Spring! It’s Spring!” (Everyone was “THE” to Stephen “THE mom”, “THE twin”, etc.)

And I’m pretty certain that she did. Ahhh, the moral dilemmas of a teacher…Tell Stephen that it still wasn’t Spring (and THE mom was wrong) or let Spring into our little classroom a few weeks early?

I’ll leave it up to you to guess how I handled, but am curious what would those of you reading this do???

But I couldn’t help but wonder…why Spring? Why was it so important to Stephen to be Spring? He never asked how long until winter or even summer, but he looked forward to Spring ALL WINTER long.
I myself have a particular fondness for Spring. I find myself enjoying the mixture of rain and sunshine and longer days, anticipating my frequent summertime trips to the beach where the sun and the ocean induce calm and peacefulness in me. And while I love the winter holiday season (the spending time with friends and family part, NOT the consumer part of it), I find winter to be a little more dreary. I’ve read studies that talk about higher instances of depression, alcoholism and suicide in locations that don’t see as much sun, so I can’t help but think that we might find many some answers to questions we have about human behavior if we were to really study the impact of weather and seasons.

In the meantime, I make my own independent observations, noting the weather before I leave my house in order to anticipate the possible changes in behaviors that I might be seeing in myself and my little friends.

And of course, remembering that it is indeed Spring at knowing that my friend Stephen is happy. And so am I.


Blogger Big Orange said...

I was raised in NE OH, where it's typically overcast and cold for most of the winter. THEN I moved to the Sunshine State (which deserves it's name, lemmie tell you). I've had far LESS depression in a sunny clime than ever before.

I think we ALL are prone to the cycles of weather and whatnot. Go to any elementary school and I'll wager you'll find that 90% or more of the primary grade teachers know EXACTLY when the full moon is 'cuz that's when the kids are most off the hook. Also, lookit' the change when we go from hi to low pressure; from hot to cold suddenly: there is a vast amount of activity.

I think sometimes we as humans like to think that we're above such things as lunar or barometric pressure influences, bein' so evolved n' all that rubbish. I agree w/you 100%!!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Kristina Chew said...

We totally kowtowed to the weather this weekend---first sign of humidity and we turned on the AC.

And I think it is helping Charlie. Not that he does not spend plenty of time (like 2 hours lately) on his bike with his dad. But humidity (which I did not grow up with, being a NorCal girl) does nasty things to the furniture, to books, to your thinking (and perhaps to Charlie's thinking).

I remain curious to know why Stephen favors Spring----or SoCal springs!

9:24 PM  
Blogger SquareGirl said...

Orange, almost all the teachers I know are aware of when it is or will be a full moon!

Kristina, I'm no fan of humidity myself. It makes me (and probably my thinking) a little sluggish. And I remain curious as well. I used to ask, but I'm not sure if he knew exactly why.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Because everybody perseverates in Springtime.


5:07 PM  
Blogger SquareGirl said...

Doug, I was gonna say of course, but Steohen perseverated ABOUT springtime during winter.

Also, today Gregory told me that perseverating and Obsessiveness is very Yan energy...still processing that, so don't read into that statement.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yes, Squaregirl, but the point is, autism is labeled a disability during three seasons but anyone who isn't autistic when the trees bud and the flowers bloom, the air is fresh and strawberries are a buck a quart has missed everything. Stephen is a King in Springtime. That's why he likes it all year around.

9:37 PM  
Blogger SquareGirl said...

Alright Doug...i'll defer to you there...yes, I'm certain my friend Stephen WAS and IS king in Springtime!

11:00 PM  

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