Our Autism Story – “Current Obsessions”
Brahm’s obsessions have evolved over the years. When he was younger, it was trees and flags. He then progressed to fire alarms, fans, lights, and candles. Brahm’s current obsessions are the Titanic and money!
Brahm’s fixation on the Titanic is a bit interesting. He was first obsessed with the Titanic 9-12 months ago. Then, like many other obsessions, it seemed to go away. However, this is the one and only obsession that has come back around for a second stint. Just when we thought we couldn’t learn more about the Titanic, we now have a second opportunity!
Brahm’s newest, and most severe, obsession is money. This obsession has been going on for at least six months. It’s a tricky one because money is obviously everywhere. Brahm has zero impulse control. If he sees a cash register drawer open, he bolts and has his hands in the drawer of money before we can catch him. He also becomes irate when we need to pay for anything – in his mind, someone is forcing us to give our money away. You can imagine how this plays out when we’re in public!
Brahm’s money obsession has also been really positive for him. He is fascinated with money from across the world. We’ve learned together about foreign currency – both old and new. We’ve also learned about American presidents that are on money – Brahm’s favorite president was initially “Tom” (Jefferson). Now, his favorite presidents are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Brahm has this incredible knack of engaging people in his interests. He received a package in the mail containing money from around the world from one of my colleagues that heard Brahm was into money. He recently convinced one of our sweetest neighbors to go out of her way to find a Canadian five dollar bill while on a work trip. And, while Brahm and I were at a restaurant and he was looking through his money collection, a complete stranger stopped and gave Brahm a rare Japanese Government Issued Philippine peso she had recently inherited from her father. I wish I had just a fraction of the “it” factor Brahm has! We have been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such kind individuals!
P.S. – While back-and-forth conversation can often be very challenging for Brahm, it always amazes me when Brahm talks about one of his obsessions – you couldn’t stop him from talking if you tried! If you are ever struggling to have a conversation with Brahm, just ask him anything about money and he will open right up!