It was once suggested to me that perhaps Ryan would do better communicating his feelings to a therapist who specializes in working with kids with an ASD. I'm not saying that it isn't a good idea, for sometime down the road, but, for right now, here is EXACTLY how I'd imagine Ryan doing in a stereotypical therapist setting:
Therapist: "So Ryan, would you like to lay down on the couch and relax while we talk?"
Ryan: (in a disparaging, how could you be so stupid and still be a doctor voice) "Why
would I do that? It's 4:00 in the afternoon and I don't lay down until 10:00
at night in my bed, at my house, with my Angry Birds blanket and my pillow!"
Therapist: "Ok, fine, then why don't you tell me how you feel Ryan?"
Ryan: "Well I feel scratchy from these jeans my mom made me wear today and I feel
blind from the sun coming in your window and I feel dry from the heat in this
Therapist: "Well, how do you feel on the inside Ryan?"
Ryan: "Well, right now I have a cold so I feel kind of juicy (yes, this is a word for
snotty) and my guts feel kind of gassy."
This conversation would be followed by the sound of my money flying out the therapists window.
Please don't ever think that people with an ASD don't feel like you do, because they do. They may not say it, they may not show it, but they FEEL it, so don't ever, ever sell them short. John Elder Robison said, "Autism is a COMMUNICATION disorder, not a "lack of feeling" disorder". Ryan's language of love may vary from mine and yours and chances are, he will not be the next French Casanova, but, I promise you, that even Ryan could have told the French that petal plucking is an "utterly ridiculous" way to determine if someone loves you. Although, Ryan could look at a flower and in an instant determine the number of petals and whether I should start with "He loves me" or "He loves me not" to get my desired answer about his love for me, Ryan would probably skip all that nonsense and in his best Austin Powers voice tell me, "Yeah baby". Yep, he loves me.