PJ’s Art – 2

I am using a sample of PJ’s art at the beginning of my blog. That is also his signature on the right side of the picture. I am so proud of all of his art, but he totally lost  interest in any art projects. He used to come home from school, get his papers and his markers and color for most of the evening. I loved watching him because when he was engrossed in what he was doing, I saw a different PJ.  He was focused and seemed to know exactly what  colors he wanted to use and how he wanted the picture to look.

So, of course, I thought he was going to be an artist. Then, one day, he wanted no more to do with his art. In fact, he started taking down the pictures that I had framed and hung on he wall. Then he started tearing them up. I took the rest of them off the wall in order to save them. His art is featured on the cover of “Inspired By Autism”.  It is also featured on the cover of the PJ Foundation calendar for 2013. I was very sorry that he lost interest.

It was the same thing with music.  PJ has good rhythm and can keep a beat, so we bought his a bongo drum, which he seemed to love. We even hired a bongo player to work with him. PJ loved playing the bongo, for five minutes. His music tutor told us it would be a waste of money for us to keep paying him to give PJ lessons. PJ was not interested in fortune or fame which were the two forces that drove musicians who wanted to be a success. When PJ’s arms got tired, he was through and wanted no part of music lessons. You know how our people with autism can be if you try to push them too far.

PJ has a beautiful singing voice. He does not sing the words, but  is good with the melody and the timing, so you can always recognize what song he is singing. But he only wants to sing his favorite part of the song. You can’t get him to sing the whole song. So his sister, Stephanie, who also sings decided that they would do a duet and she would sing until they got to PJ’s favorite part, then he would take over. Nice plan, but it didn’t work. They were to sing at a benefit for autism, so I thought whatever he did would be appropriate. He sang with his back to the audience and to the microphone and would not turn around to face the audience. This incident is one of the comics that I have included in “Inspired By Autism”, but I wasn’t laughing at the time.

In fact, the comics in “Inspired By Autism” are about  things that I thought we would be successful in getting PJ to do. I was always proven wrong. I’m sure you have heard the saying “laughing to keep from crying”.  I finally learned to laugh, mostly at myself for always thinking my projects with PJ would have a different outcome.  I had to learn to accept the fact that PJ was always going to be PJ and my goals for him were not his goals.

Those of us whose children do not “recover” from autism get disappointment after disappointment in our quest to help our child. I shed many a tear about these failures. I learned to stop crying and accept PJ as he is. That fact did not diminish my love for him. In fact it made me love him more. He is just as worthy as he would have been had we succeeded in some of our attempts.

He has matured into a pleasant, agreeable young man who does not want to hurt anyone. I would never have predicted the young man he has become. I am proud of him because I know that he has overcome many obstacles to become thew person he is today, autism and all.

Until next time; May you have Peace, Love. an Prosperity in your life.

Claudreen Jackson

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