Hamish 2

Hamish has just ducked his head into sandy water. Picture: Lindsay

Hamish doesn't care much about social norms and enjoys discomfiting adults who have charge of him by behaving in ways they would consider embarrassing. It takes a thick skin or the same autistic unconcern for neurotypicals' attitudes as Hamish to take him out in public.

In the picture above, Hamish has just come inside after ducking his head into a sandy puddle: if you look closely, you can see the sand running down his face and neck.

And why not? It felt good to have the cold water on his face and running down his neck, and who cares about a bit of sand? And, after all, if someone wanted to try to clean him they were welcome to have a go; he was just as happy left alone and might decide to bite or pinch anyone approaching him with a towel, not aggressively but just as a reminder that his ways aren't necessarily theirs.

Hamish: Foodhall, Shoppingtown. Picture: Lindsay
Hamish will throw the can at me if I take one more photo.

The two pictures above show him coping with a noisy situation in a food hall because he has to. He loves pizza and coke so if the price of getting those things means that he has to sit in a confusing babble for a while, he'll do it but he won't be very happy about it.

Hamish at Shoppingtown, November 1996. Picture: Lindsay

Hamish has poor eyesight but acutely sensitive hearing over a range of frequencies barely audible to neurotypical people. For example, he finds some of the sounds associated with diesel engines almost intolerable and the sound of a truck labouring up a hill in too high a gear was likely until recently to cause him to tantrum and even today, if somebody he doesn't know and/or doesn't like were to have charge of him, he still could. The picture above was taken on the roof of a shopping mall and shows how he copes with the noise of cars coming up the ramps.


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