As I was swimming along one day, I discovered a little boy sitting with his mother on a dock. He was sitting blowing bubbles. I like bubbles, though I must say that when I blow bubbles I do so from under the water. I swam over for a closer look.
“Oh look darling! It’s a little dolphin!” the boy’s mom said.
The little boy continued to blow his bubbles and watched the water.
I swam over to say hi.
“Hello! My name is Kenny.” I said.
“Hi, Kenny. I am Susie and this is Gavin!” Susie said. Gavin kept blowing his bubbles.
“Hello there Gavin,” I said. “How are you?”
Gavin continued to blow his bubbles.
“He can be a little shy around new people and situations,” Susie said. Gavin had wonderful freckles and seemed to be very good at blowing bubbles.
“I like to blow bubbles also Gavin. But when I blow bubbles, I do it in the water.” I told him.
“Bubbles only float in the air,” said Gavin looking at me from the corner of his eye. They have to be filled with air so that they can float in the air.” He seemed very serious about the bubbles. It was serious business for him.
“You can so blow bubbles in the water. And, they float and twirl to the surface and shine in the sunlight just like silver. I love blowing bubbles!” I said.
Gavin thought for a moment, still not looking me in the eyes.
“Would you like me to show you?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe,” said Gavin.
“Of course you can Gavin! Go, I love to see you make new friends!” Susie laughed.
Gavin nodded his head. “Ok, I would like to see the bubbles under the water twirling.”
“Can you swim under water?” I asked. Gavin was just a little boy and not all little boys his age can swim.
“Yes,” Gavin said.
“Gav is a great swimmer,” Susie assured me. “He loves being under the water. This will be fun for him.”
“Ok, that is great, come on Gavin,” I said to the serious little boy.
Gavin put down his bubbles, making sure not to spill them. Then, he very carefully climbed into the water.
“Ok, Gavin. Take a deep breath. We are going underwater.” I said.
Gavin took a deep breath of air. Then, he popped up and ducked under the water with a funny little hopping motion. I dove down after him.
It was not very deep because Gavin could stand there. so we did not have very far to go to get to the bottom. It was very peaceful and quiet down there. We could see little fish that were swimming around us and they seemed to be watching us. Gavin was not facing me but watching me out of the corner of his eye again. It looked cute and a bit funny.
I nodded at him to make sure that he was ready. He nodded to me showing me that yes he was ready.
I let out the air in my mouth and out came the bubbles.
The bubbles in the water are different shaped than they are in the air. They twirled up to the surface like little silver flying saucers. They got shinier and prettier as they got closer to the surface of the water.
Gavin smiled and bubbles came out of his mouth and twirled and swirled their way to the surface. Then he had to go back up for more air.
The fish watched us as they swam past. I wondered what they were thinking. Gavin popped back down to the bottom and blew more bubbles and watched them as the floated up to the surface. Then he went back up for more air. He seemed to really be enjoying this.
Eventually, I popped up for some air too. Susie was watching from above us on the dock.
“Gavin loves the water. He loves being near the water and he loves bubbles,” she said. Susie explained to me that Gavin has Autism. He can be shy with new situations and people. She also said that he is tactile defensive meaning that some textures and forms of touch bother him. Susie explained that Gavin also was very uncomfortable making direct eye contact, which I understood as I know a few other friends that don’t like direct eye contact either.
“Well, he certainly knows a lot about bubbles,” I said.
“He knows a lot about a lot of things,” said Susie. “He loves science, but especially things having to do with water. And he also really likes trains. Those are his two passions. But his most favorite thing to do is blow bubbles and be near the water. I think that it feels good to him. It feels peaceful for him and seems to have a very calming effect on him. He does not like loud noises or surprises. I think that the water is sort of predictable for him. When we are here, it always looks the same and feels the same to him.”
“I know how he feels,” I said. “I think that some of us are just born to be in the water.”
“Gavin definitely was!” Susie said.
He really is a kid who is One with the Water.
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that is usually detected at a very early age. It is characterized by challenges with socialization, sensory needs as well as additional needs that can also occur. Being that Autism is a spectrum disorder, all people with autism are different from one another and the traits range from person to person.
For more information about Autism please check out the following links:
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