Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Autism around the clock.

Fourteen years living with this Kiddo and he's still finding ways to shock the crap out of us.

Our latest surprise. Kiddo knows what time it is but not by looking at a watch or the clock on his iPad. It's because he keeps a running clock in his mind.  Seriously, we figured out that the Kiddo is forever counting seconds, minutes, and hours in his head. Non stop.

My husband was the first to notice this. He would be outside working on the lawn or whatnot and Kiddo would come outside. He'd ask "Hey, do you know what time it is?" and the Kiddo would always know.  The first few times we thought it was he was seeing a clock on his way out of the patio door but nope.  He would wait a bit and then ask him.  Sure enough, he would be mid jump on the trampoline or swinging in the hammock and he would just rattle off the time.

And he would be right.

I honestly couldn't believe it until I did checked it myself.  I was brushing my hair and he was just sort of stimmy/flappy in the bathroom door frame scripting. Not a clock in sight.  My phone was in my pocket. I didn't even have on a watch.  I asked. He answered and I looked at my phone and he was right.

And we're not talking like within ten minutes or so. He is ON. THE. NOSE.  The other night my husband asked him and he changed his answer mid sentence.  Why? Because it was going from 6:59 to 7:00 PM.  Hubby pulled out his phone to check and watched the clock change from 6:59 to 7:00.

HUH???!?!?!?!?!? How the Hell does he do this??? He's always had a thing for numbers.  It's why he's always loved Thomas the Tank Engine trains and their assigned numbers. He can remember every hotel room we've ever stayed in and the year. He can rattled off at the movie theater which flicks we've seen in each theater.  He loves math at school. So I can't say that I'm altogether shocked per say but at the same time I'm just sitting here stunned all the same.

And you know what I keep saying to my husband?  "HOW DO WE MAKE THIS A MARKETABLE SKILL?????"  Because while it's kind of cool that he can do this, it's also another example of the quirks of autism.  Yeah, great that he'll never be late because he'll always know the time.  We also now know why he's often slow to respond to questions. It's not just processing what is being said to him. He's doing that WHILE being a walking clock.

There's no explaining or telling him "Hey Kiddo. No need to keep a constant clock running in your brain.  We're good."  He NEEDS to do this. This is just how his brain works.  I can't get him to change his brain anymore than he could get me to change mine.

But like I was saying before, it's just one of those things he does.  Can't tie his shoes but he can keep a running clock going in his mind.  I'm not sure what this type of skill can do in the long term or will just be another one of those #TeamQuirky things of his.

If I have learned two things from this it's 1) He will never stop surprising me. 2) It's also always time for another side of fries.

Now we know why he likes to sleep with a clock. Here I was thinking he just wanted to be like Flavor Flav. YEAHHHHH BOYYYYYY! 


  1. Wow, that is an interesting talent. No fooling him with shorter screen time.

  2. That is amazing. I sometimes count in my brain when I am trying to be calm, but no internal clock. I always thought it was because I am a pianist and often have a musical beat from a song in my head. But! I wonder if he has to look at a clock when he wakes up to start the internal timekeeping or if he just somehow knows the time. Or if it keeps going while he sleeps. The brain is so complex!


  4. Love you and your family so much. Looking behind the curtain as you say your life with us is such an enjoying experience and makes me feel so connected
    to you guys