This was an experience I had around two years back when I was newly appointed in Asha Kiran as a staff member.
All the children travelling by the school bus would respond to my greeting each morning except this little boy with autism was sitting by the window on the last seat of the bus. Every time I greeted him he would look straight through me as if he was oblivious of my presence. This continued for a couple of weeks.
Once, when his teacher was absent, I was sent as a substitute to his class. When I walked in, I saw him writing the names of various countries (Australia, Finland, Switzerland etc) on the black board, I was fascinated with his knowledge and used it as my cue to break the ice between us. So the next time we met in the bus I greeted him with the name of a country “Sri Lanka” and waited in anticipation for his response….Lo and behold, he replied, “Nepal”!
That was the start to a new camaraderie between us. It’s now turned into a game we play regularly, we’ve moved from countries to cities to even naming neighborhoods. It’s been 2 years since the game first began but we continue to giggle and rattle off names whenever we meet in the bus. What a swell way to begin the day!