Thursday, April 27, 2017

The orange chair in his room he doesn't ask about

There is a cute Stokke orange chair sitting in Max's room. We needed something to put Ben in while we give Max a shower, and we park it outside the bathroom door. Ben's room is pretty small, Max's is large, so we store the chair there.

It's been sitting in Max's room for a couple of months now. He hasn't said a word, and I've wondered why.

Mostly, I don't realize that Max hasn't been doing something until he does it for the first time, as happened recently when he tended to a scrape on his own. But there is one thing I've long wondered about, and that is why he doesn't pay attention to the contents of his room. This goes beyond whether it's neat or messy; he just doesn't seem to notice the objects in it.

To be sure, over the years he's had firm opinions about decorating it. During his purple phase, I painted one wall a glossy purple. (It's still there because I haven't yet given in to repainting it red.) At his request, I've hung up assorted fire truck photos on his wall and door. For his birthday, he specifically requested an overpriced Pottery Barn Kids fire truck lamp and I dutifully obliged.

But other than that, Max just doesn't seem to care about what's in his room. He's never mentioned the trinkets and photos that line the shelves of his dresser. He's never browsed the books in the bookshelf. He doesn't mind the old stepstool with primary- color letters that spell out M A X sitting in a corner, the large chest that used to be for toys but now holds linens and out-of-season clothes or the diaper storage area in his closet because Ben's room lacks the space.

So then I started to wonder about leaving that chair sitting in Max's room. Even if he doesn't care about it, is it wrong to take advantage of that? I just don't know.

It is quite possible that boys tend to care less about their bedrooms than girls do. Sabrina asked for a makeover for her last birthday that included getting a new comforter, window treatments and pillows, ditching her old rug and adding some wall art. Her room's pretty messy but still, she knows all the stuff in there. (Well, other than the black hole where she keeps her many socks, aka the bottom drawer of her desk, OK then.)

It doesn't bother me, per se, that Max doesn't care about his room. This has to do with my curiosity about his cognition. I am sometimes guilty of thinking Max does the things he does because of his special needs. But who knows, maybe he'd be this way whether or not he had intellectual disability. Or maybe this, too, will develop. As of not long ago, Max never noticed what clothes he had on and now he has definite preferences. He particularly loves wearing checked Oxfords, just like Daddy.

But that orange chair sitting in his room that he doesn't ask about: I wonder.


  1. my oldest (12 ) non verbal with special needs DOES care about things that are in his room and will toss whatever he deems should not be there out into the hallway! but his two younger brothers (7 and 10) could care less about what is in their room.

    1. Ah! Maybe I shouldn't hope he'll start caring about the stuff in his room!

  2. It seems Max enjoy conversation now, may be it will be fun to ask if he see the chair and does he mind if it stay in his room.
    My son is 2.5 now, he doesn't pay much attention to objects that doesn't much noise but now is starting to digging into toys and things around house.
    Environment awareness does develop w time in my opinion.

    1. I guess I haven't asked because we genuinely need to store that chair in his room! But yeah, I should. And yes, I have a feeling this may also develop at some point.

  3. Maybe Max knows that it is Ben's and doesn't care that it is there. Maybe he sees you putting it in and out of his room when he goes to shower and just gets that's where it is stored.

  4. My son, with CP, would not be aware of that either. Just not very aware of physical reality. We also have to work with him on personal appearance, because he will miss something obvious to another person. My daughter who is four years younger, but without CP, notices these things automatically.

  5. I think it's boys in general. My 15yo has no special needs issues and he doesn't care about what is in his room. His bed is uncomfortable so he's been sleeping on a spare twin mattress on the floor. (Usually it's stored under his bed.) But we have him use his computer downstairs, so he's never in his room except to sleep.

    (My 12yo boy with CP likes a neat floor, but he doesn't really seem to care what's on his shelves or in his drawers.)

  6. My boys don't care much about their rooms, even as teens.


Thanks for sharing!

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