Me: *singing* “Who runs the world?!” *shouting* “GIRLS!!!!”
D: *shouting* “BOYS!!”
Occasionally Lyric’s moody teenager self will join in the silliness.
Then we all laugh!
Every time this song comes on in the car the above scenario plays out. But recently I started thinking, am I doing all I can to teach Diego that men and women are equal??
Like most autistics, D is a very black and white thinker, grey areas are difficult for him.
Due to his very traditional (dare I say slightly ignorant) father, cartoons, and the media, D has adopted the thought process that generally boys are better than girls.
After one of our singing sessions, I came up with a plan to show Diego that men and women are equal. It would have to be good and convincing because this can be a grey area in Diego’s eyes, especially when he is being flooded with ideas to the contrary.
I won’t even go on my rant about how frustrating it is to see the enormous amount of sexism and misogyny in the media and how nobody really ever takes issue with it…I won’t.
Anyhow I started the equality discussion with Lyric when he was about 4, and it still continues everyday. So one evening I sat down with D and talked about how men and women can do the same job. He looked at me and said “no girls can’t do boys’ jobs because they are not strong!” So I pulled out our iPad and on YouTube and showed him videos of male nurses, female construction workers, male receptionists, and female car mechanics. With each video his eyes got wider. I explained that a lot of people think that girls are not as strong as boys, but that really isn’t true. I talked to him about how his Nana is awesome at building things and how his “twin friend” Tomas’ favorite color is pink. I could almost hear the wheels in his head turning. After I was done, he didn’t have much to say.
He stood up, walked over to his Legos, while muttering “OK.”
Not sure if I got my point across I made a mental note to broach the subject briefly in our everyday conversations.
A few days later our silly song “Run The World” came on and this time after “Who runs the world?!”
Diego responded “BOTH!!!!!!!!!!”