Of course, we never really know what anyone else thinks about. But with Janey, I have no inkling at all. She never refers to past events. She never tells me what she does when she's not with me. She has never told me a dream. She's never told me about a disappointment she felt. She's never said what she hopes the future holds. She's never even told me the little things, like what her favorite color is. Her mind is a mystery to me.
I get glimpses of Janey's mind only by her telling me her immediate wants, and even those are limited to a very few categories---ones relating to food, videos, going outside or in the car or wanting someone to lie down with her or go away from lying down with her. I know what foods she likes and what movies she likes. But I don't know if she likes school. I don't know if she likes certain kids her in class better than others. I don't know if she wishes she could talk more, if she wishes she could read. I have no idea.
I often look at Janey's face, trying to figure out what is inside, in her mind. So often, her face doesn't let those secrets out. She so often has what I think of as her reserved look. Some people call it an autistic look, and indeed, it's a look that I think is common with a lot of autistic kids. It's a guarded look, a look that seems to be designed to keep her safe from being asked to do things she doesn't want to do, safe from well-meant but invasive demands--- "Look at me! Tell me with words what you want! Tell me about school! Answer me!" It seems to be a way she retreats into herself, closes herself up. Maybe autism is the ultimate way of wanting privacy---she keeps her counsel. But oh, how I wish she would, or she could, let me know what she is thinking, even just a little.