The Baby Issue

Like many autistic people, Nigel’s always had a hard time being around babies. He just can’t filter the crying. It’s one of the only sounds that he still hasn’t been able to filter very well because of the unpredictable nature of it. That, and he just doesn’t understand why they can’t stop. It’s hard for him to be patient or understanding because his ears are killing him. “Can’t that baby stop crying?” he’ll say when he hears one in a store. Telling him that the baby can’t help it – or that he cried when he was a baby too – doesn’t help at all. It’s not about trying to develop understanding and patience. It’s about needing relief for his sensitive hearing.

And it started early on, too. Nigel was not yet two when Aidan was born, and Aidan had an even harder time with SPD than Nigel did. Poor Aidan spent about 80% of his waking life crying, and poor Nigel literally climbed the walls while Aidan did it. In fact, one of Nigel’s first words – “cying” – was said to describe his brother. Cying = crying without the “r”. He couldn’t say Mom or Dad, but he could say cying. “Yes, Aidan is crying,” I would say, and Nigel would run out of the room.

Nigel has no memory of those days, but he still can’t handle babies crying. He knows they can’t help it, he now understands that, but he wishes they didn’t have to do it. I told him that I’m sure their parents feel the same way!

But, despite how he feels about babies, Nigel is excited to have a baby cousin. He went to see Nolan shortly after he was born, and Nigel was a little nervous, but quite receptive. Now, Nolan is two months old, and we were very happy to have him (and his mom!) come to Nigel’s graduation party this week.  Nolan was very willing to accommodate his cousin and only cried while his diaper was being changed. After Nolan was fed and happy, Nigel came over, smiled at him, and said, “Hi, Nolan. Hey, little guy.” Nolan broke into a sweet grin and Nigel exclaimed, “He likes me!” Then he said, “But I’m pretty sure he’s not ready for some Godzilla action.”

Just yawning, fortunately . . . 

14 thoughts on “The Baby Issue

  1. Kate

    Aww…Sweet pic.
    By the way Im moving Sunday. See more of this fair state. Nervous but hoping it will go ok and is right thing to do. So hard to move again and get used to things again after I just got here six weeks ago….but it was better than staying at my dad’s house for those six weeks, so even if transitions suck, gotta remember the benefit I guess.

  2. Tera

    Kaeden LOVES all things baby. He can’t keep his fingers off if a baby is anywhere nearby. Doesn’t matter if it’s a person or animal. Or pictures or brochures. Babies are one of his “things”. Glad Nigel and Nolan are becoming fast friends.

  3. Michelle S

    we have the same problem. But I do think Daniel has learned patience with it. He’ll say “do you hear what I hear? a baby cry?” which is from the Siamese cat song in Lady and the Tramp…. He says that and I can tell he is really really annoyed but calmly says “that baby is crying” I actually just asked him does it bother you when babies cry and he said “sometimes” 😉 it’s tough, esp. when you are on a plane!!

  4. Carol

    My goodness; it’s as though you were describing Justin in the first paragraph! He has been known to hiss “Sh-h-h-h-h!” LOUDLY in public, if he hears a baby crying. I’ve told him the exact same things you’ve told Nigel, but of course, it does no good.

    Such a beautiful, sweet picture.

  5. furious

    I know what you mean, my autistic son with sensory issues used to hate babies and used to try to hit them when he was younger. We finally figured out it was because he couldnt stand their crying. Same with girls and their screachy voices for a long time. He deals with it better now but still doeesnt like it when babies cry.

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