A 9-Year-Old on the Autism Spectrum Explains What It's Like to 'Think Outside the Box'


Today I’m going to share with you what it is like, for me, to “think out of the box.” This is exactly the way I explained it to my mom, and she typed it out word-for-word for me last night while I explained it to her. I asked her to put it on my blog.

Me: “Mom, you know I always think out of the box, but sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad.”

Mom: “Kai, it’s never bad to think outside the box.”

Me: “I know, what I mean is that sometimes I thinks so far outside the box, that it’s like being on right on the edge, and you hold on and hold on until someone pulls you back up.

So pretend your box is a little house. Pretend you’re on the cliff of a mountain, on all sides it’s just square, square, square – and the mountain’s a billion thousand meters high. And you think out of your box.

So pretend the box is your house. You think out of it, like you go out of your box, and the distance from the side of your box to the edge of the mountain is half a ruler space. You walk out of your box, and you’re thinking too much out of the box – you’re walking too near to the edge of the cliff, and then when you think way out of the box, that means you walk so far – further than the half a ruler space, and suddenly you fall down, but luckily you quickly grab the edge of the mountain.

Somebody sees your fingers there (but you don’t know) – this person just climbed the mountain to meet mighty-mighty eagle (me). Luckily that person grabs mighty-mighty eagle’s hands – pretend mighty-mighty eagle has hands. Then you get right back into your small box, and that is like thinking out of the box.

So I’m not saying you must not think out of the box. You must, except you mustn’t think about whatever you’re thinking about outside the box too much because then you can fall off the cliff and nobody is there to help you. Unless of course you have wings.”

Mom: “So how often do you think outside the box?”

Me: “Twice a day at least!”

About Me: I’m Kai and I’m 9 years old. My mom typed this for me because she never allows me to type on her laptop! But this is my story word for word.

Image via Thinkstock.

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