Aspergers and sound discrimination
I have finally had a conversation with Will where his explanation of a social situation makes sense to me.
We were driving home after school, and we were directly behind Will's bus. There were other boys in the back of the bus, some were even boys that I knew that have been over to the house to play with Will. These boys were very actively talking to each other, having a great time. I asked Will if he talked with these guys on the way home at the end of the day. He said "No." I began my usual spiel about how he SHOULD talk to these guys, that's what kids do on the way home from school -- they joke, they talk about sports, movies, bands, etc. I asked Will why he doesn't talk with them, and he very succinctly said "I can't hear them."
OK, Will can hear just fine, in fact his hearing is very acute. Like most people with Asperger's, he can hear a lawnmower from miles away, he can hear the air conditioning turn on in a room when most of the family would never notice. This is exactly the problem. There are places where the noise is so intense, and there are so many different noises coming from different directions, i.e. the bus, the hallway at school, the auditorium, the lunchroom, the gym, church, the classroom, etc., that our kids cannot discriminate between the sounds, and so they cannot socialize, they cannot carry on a conversation with four other boys.
Now that I know this, I know a little better than to try and push socializing on him when he just doesn't have the physical capacity to actually hear the conversation as anyone else would. I finally understand.