Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

To Ask or Not To October 18, 2012

Filed under: Life on the Jay train — The B Side @ 12:13 pm
Tags: , ,

I accidentally overheard a conversation.

I heard what sounded like a father talking to his son on the phone, helping him with math home work.

After a while it started to sound like maybe it was not home work.  Maybe the son is a new driver and has recently gotten a car.

My Spidey senses started tingling.  I stopped what I was doing and just listened.  It felt rude.  I wanted to tune him out.  But I couldn’t.


“[Son], the car gets 15 miles per gallon, so if your tank holds 20 gallons, how far will you be able to go?”


–          The son responds


“Exactly.  300.  I gotta go now though so when I get home I’ll go over it with you again ok?”


–          The son responds


“Yup, that’s right.  You get at least 15 miles per gallon so if you fill up, you would be able to go at least 300 miles before you have to fill up again.  Like I said though, I gotta get off the phone now but when I get home I’ll go over it with you and show you everything and we’ll go for a spin.”


–          The son responds


“You got it.” 


The conversation goes on like that for about 3 minutes.  Going in circles.

“[Son], I’ve told you before that I need to hang up now so I need you to be sensitive to what I’m saying.  You can call me back later if you want to talk about this some more or I can call you in a few minutes but I really need to go now.”


–          The son responds


“[Son], what did I say?  I have to get off the phone now.  I’m going to call you back ok.  Just sit tight.  We’ll go over it when I get home.”



This is someone I see quite often but we’ve never had personal conversations.  I could be way off base, but I feel like he may be one of ours.  One of mine.  I really want to ask about his son.  I don’t know how or even if I should.


3 Responses to “To Ask or Not To”

  1. O, I so wish I knew the answer to this one. I would have thought the same thing as you. Part of the reason i blog is so that in real life i don’t sound like some crazy woman who finds a way to make every conversation relate back to autism. I never know how to handle all these situations. I suppose I would casually bring up a reference to my own autistic son in some way and let him disclose or not. Parents get so funny about even the slightest suggestions their kid might be not ‘normal’, I do try to stay out of it unless i am asked or I know the person can hear it in the spirit it is meant. good luck.

    • I think this is good advice. I’m thinking that a direct approach might backfire. Since you overheard the conversation, it makes this tricky. I’m voting for not forcing the issue. Even if you have good intentions, your co-worker may not be receptive.

  2. solodialogue Says:

    I wouldn’t approach it either but on the other hand, I’m fairly open about my own son’s autism. I don’t think that it’s anything to hide. For me, most people know I have a child with autism and I’m proud of him in every way. So, I’m there if they want to talk or ask me something. Otherwise, I don’t bring it up…

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