Do you sometimes despair when you want to share some joy with your Loved One, and you get no response? I had not so much of a revelation but a realisation about this behaviour, and my experience is probably similar to yours – however you may find some solace in my interpretation of what is happening. I had given my young feller at age 3 or 4 an icecream, which he adored. He took it and became totally engrossed in it to the exclusion of everything else. You expect that of a baby, but my instinctive expectation of an older child seemed to have been different, because on seeing his enjoyment I wanted to share it:
“Nice ice-cream?” No response. “Nice ice-cream?” It was as if I weren’t there.
NICE BLOODY ICECREAM??? That got his attention!
It is pretty obvious really, if you accept the “Own World” viewpoint. He was not ignoring me, not being callous or disregarding my feelings, any more than yours is with you, he simply was too deep in his own world to hear me. And like a baby (and there are more parallels to come) his feelings were locked in himself. A baby learns to bring his/her feelings with them into the Real World to share with others, but those too long in their own world need to be taught how to “bring their feelings with them” as they practice entering the Real World.
Which brings me to my final revelation I would like to share with you, and a vey important one, which is that “Real World Orientation” can be taught if it has not been previously learned instinctively. I read a study where the teachers explained to their students the reasons behind a type of social interaction, rather than imposing a set of “Social Rules” on their students. This approach resulted in demonstrably increased levels of understanding re how to engage in this social interaction, and demonstrably increased their enduring social competency. What an inspiration! – that if we take away the ‘labels’ that so separate us from our loved ones (and treat them like any other student, with big helpings of motivation) it is possible to believe that we cantrain a person “less world-ly” to a decent understanding of what’s going on around them. And get them to feel, and therefore respond, in a more neurotypical way.