Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Autism Diaries: "We don't want another Hitler!"

J turned 18 yesterday, and, for the first time in a very long time, awoke before we did. Instead of having to be dragged out of bed as usual, he showed up in our room with a huge smile on his face, fully dressed and ready to go to school--and ready to appreciate, among other things, his newly-acquired political powers.

It used to be the prospect of driving that excited him (and horrified us); now it's voting. He can't wait for November, all the time realizing that, statistically, his one small vote counts for little. His one big motivator--and his recurring refrain: "We don't want another Hitler!"

"Is that why we need to learn history?" is his abiding follow-up. Thus does preventing another Hitler motivate, in his eyes, the five mornings per week that we sit on the train together on the way to school and read his history textbooks--world history last year; American history now.

(The Holocaust, interestingly, is covered in both of these Pennsylvania-approved textbooks--in spite of a recent report showing that graduates of Pennsylvania high schools know woefully little about it and suggesting that the answer is mandated, Holocaust-specific instruction.)

Interestingly, J hasn't brought up driving in a while; the prospect of him voting, in contrast to this, horrifies me not one whit.


Anonymous said...

Aaah, how sweet. I found the prospect of voting more exciting than driving, too. It was a sign of the right and responsibility of joining adult society, while driving, for me, was just a tool, and one that I used mostly selfishly.


Hainish said...

That is really sweet. Congrats to your son on attaining legal adulthood! (Does he know he can sign contracts now?)