The conversation started with "I need laundry detergent" and ended with "I don't want to be independent".
Over the years the words have changed but the meaning is always the same. Something is not right in Alex's world. Alex handles information differently than I do and differently than her siblings. This does not mean her feelings do not get hurt or she does not recognize when something is not fair - it merely means she needs time to formulate the language needed to share her hurt.
In the past I have written about processing emotions the Alex way. For instance, when Alex's grandfather passed away she decided staying at O'Hare airport instead of heading home would make her feel better. When Alex did not get into her number one college she blamed it on down syndrome instead of the huge number of applicants for the ten open spots.
When Alex is upset - there is ALWAYS something else going on that she is not vocalizing. I know Alex is not upset because she does not have laundry detergent. I suggested she go to the store and get some detergent, or perhaps borrow from her roommate. Her response is always the same when I know she is trying to think through what she really means, "that won't work". Arguing with her during her these discussions always ends with Alex saying something she does not mean. In this case she does not want to be independent.
As an aside, my husband and I have spent years trying to understand why her final threat is actually self punitive. I know Alex wants to be independent more than she has wanted anything in her life. She is proud to be in college and happy to be away from me.
My theory - Alex had her feelings hurt or felt left out of a roommate activity. Perhaps one of her three new best friends inadvertently said something that hurt Alex's feelings. I do think she is homesick and overwhelmed getting used to a new environment.
I also know Alex will get over whatever it was that upset her and maybe I will learn about it and maybe I won't. I am also open to the possibility Alex will stay upset and college may not be right her her, only time will tell. I do know I will never completely understand what makes all three of my kids tick.
If you have not liked our page, it is a good way to stay on top of the ups and downs of college for a person with a development/intellectual disability. I have no idea what is going to happen....but I will share the good and the bad. Please click on "The Ordinary Life of an Extraordinary Girl" now.
One more thought...if you have a younger child and you are getting notes from school about non-compliance or lack of focus, think about what that really means. Many of our kids develop language later and can only share unhappiness through behavior. Please look further, your child is very smart and trying to communicate in a way that makes sense to him/her not the teacher or aide.