Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I’m a Canine-Brother Social-Guide

Yo Dude. Mick here.

I’m the adorable, slurp-your-face-so-happy-to-see-you guy.

Maybe I should make some things a bit more clear.

Yes, I’m a canine brother with the emphasis on brother.

Some biased, individuals in need of diversity and sensitivity training may consider me a dog.

They are wrong.

I am a family member who has a strong bond with my two-legged brother, Red.

In addition to being his champion and advocate, I am also one of Red’s social mentors and guides. I’m his interpreter.

I’m a
canine social-guide.

My brother, Red has many wonderful talents.

He is a comedian who can deadpan jokes really well. He’s also good at slapstick. He's got an incredible ability to mimic dialects and memorize lines. I fully expect that one day he will be “discovered” and whisked away to Hollywood to become the actor he is!

Red is a baritone player with an incredible audio memory. This helps him a lot especially with learning new music (and memorizing those lines). His hearing is also superb. Red can hear even the softest voice where most others can’t over the din of the band room as an example. His hearing is almost as good as, well, a canine’s.

Red is also an artist. Most people don’t know this but he has several shoeboxes filled with his characters, both real and imaginary, drawn on 3X5 cards. He probably has close to 5,000 or more!

Mostly he makes caricatures of people or animals playing sports or musical instruments. He puts these together sort of like a story-board for a show. With his talent, he may even become a writer or director.

With all his talents, you may wonder why Red needs a social mentor and guide. Well, Red has autism. Autism is sometimes called “Autism Spectrum Disorder” or abbreviated, “ASD”.

As a social mentor and guide, I assist in social translations between Red and others. I interpret for Red. Sometimes I explain Red and what he’s saying or doing and why to others and sometimes I explain to Red what others are saying or doing and why.

Red doesn’t always “get” others and often, others just don’t “get” Red either.

If you think of autism like you going to a different country – the assistance of an interpreter can make your visit less stressful and therefore more pleasurable.

I’m Red’s interpreter, his canine social-guide

B but mostly I’m his brother.

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