Friday, April 04, 2014

Why Are So Many Comedians Named Seth?

Ten years ago my husband and I decided to name our future baby boy Seth. At that time the only Seth I had ever heard about was Seth Green from the Austin Powers movies. Soon after Seth was born and named I became introduced to Seth Rogen, Seth Meyers and Seth MacFarlane.

At first it was just a funny coincidence and then as our son started to grow and develop we realized that he had a hilarious sense of humor and a gift for comedic timing. It got me to thinking that it can't be purely coincidence. There must be something in the name Seth, which is a Hebrew name meaning "Anointed; compensation." Seth was the third son of Adam and Eve in the Bible and Eve considered him to be a replacement for her dead son, Abel.

Recently while at the Houston Museum of Natural Science my daughter picked up something with the names of all the Egyptian gods and Seth was the God of Chaos. "Yeah, sounds about right!" we all laughed, including Seth.

The Faces!

(Ages 3-9)

April is Autism Awareness Month and I feel like I still have so much to learn about the Autism spectrum and specifically about Asperger's.

When Seth was first diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's two years ago I was in denial about the Asperger's. That was before I understood it and realized all the things that Seth had been doing. It wasn't only that he couldn't behave in school. He walked on his tip toes, he flapped his arms like a bird and he would speak in a high pitched voice. All of these are characteristics of a child with Asperger's.

Seth is what some doctors would call a "high functioning" Aspie. He functions well in school and does not need special education per se. He just needs to go to a place to re-group when things are getting to be too much to handle.

He has a huge personality, a colorful vocabulary and he's a talented artist. He's very smart and doesn't miss a beat.  By the time I tell him something he's already thinking about things I haven't even thought about. At the same time he can be very defiant and there is no reasoning with him when something only makes sense to him in his head.

However, he has so much empathy, which is sometimes missing in children with Asperger's. He's patient and loving with my 90 year old father, while my teenage girl is somewhat indifferent and in her own world.

For example, one day when my father got off the car at the bank I complained that he was always grouchy and impatient. Seth said, "Wouldn't you be if were old, your wife died and you couldn't live in your own house any more?" That told me so much about how he thinks.

One thing that really impresses me is how he picks up on words so quickly and then uses them in context. Like the time he told my sister as he was climbing up the side of the bed that he was "grappling" to get on. When we asked him what that word meant he defined it exactly.

I can't find anything online stating that any of the Seth comedians have Asperger's, but I'm sure at least one of them does. I can almost be sure that either all of them, or some of them, have ADHD, like a lot of comedians do. Think Jim Carey and imagine him as a little boy. That's Seth.  I think that when celebrities are open about their challenges it helps children understand that they too can succeed in a career despite their own obstacles.

I have a friend whose husband has Asperger's and he's a music composer and a professor. I make sure to tell Seth about people like him all the time and I hope that one day he can meet my friend's husband as well as other successful people like him.

Do I ever wish that and Seth didn't have Asperger's?  I wish that some days weren't so challenging and I worry about him sometimes. I hope that as he grows into an adult he can learn to work with it and still do well in school, like my friend's husband and so many famous composers and inventors.  But no, I can't say I wish my son didn't have Asperger's. I believe that it's part of what makes him such a unique, funny and interesting person. It is a part of him and his personality and I love him through and through.

1 comment:

Kathy Stallings said...

Wonderful post! I have enjoyed hearing tales of Seth as he has grown up and look forward to his next adventures in life. Raising my own son with ASD and proclivity for comedy, I know it adds another layer of challenge but is richly rewarding and certainly never boring!