🎋Dreaming In Watercolors🎋… by JoAnn

A woman laying down with her head on the ground.

I enjoy watching videos on YouTube. My faves are music videos from back in the old days, as my grandchildren call it. I also enjoy videos with individuals that post video blogs, aka vlogs. The vlog I enjoy most is about a family who has an adult autistic daughter. Their videos caught my attention back in 2020 during the pandemic. My 8-year-old grandson is on the spectrum of Autism, and I have often wondered what life will be like for him as an adult. So while I was a prisoner inside my home like everyone else during the pandemic, I decided to turn to YouTube.

The young woman I follow is in her mid-thirties and is named Jessica. She was born with a huge chunk of her brain completely missing. It never formed in the womb. She was diagnosed as blind in infancy. That led to a diagnosis of the brain malformation. To look at her, she seemed like a typical, healthy baby. But one day, her grandmother noticed that she seemed to struggle with her vision. And so, tests after tests were done. It wasn’t until she was older and in school that she was also diagnosed with Autism. It’s not that she can’t understand or learn that gets in Jessica’s way. She is highly intelligent and functioning. Her biggest hurdle is controlling her emotions. She has a lot of anxiety, and unfortunately, many things trigger that.

I was amazed by one video when they discussed that Jessica has a bad day if she had bad dreams the night before. I guess because she is blind, I never even considered that she could dream. It made me question exactly how does she dream? She is legally blind, wears no glasses, and can only see a very small amount of color and light in one eye. The other eye is 100% visionless. Every time the family mentions in a video that Jessica had a bad dream, I find myself very curious. Does she only hear voices or sounds in her dreams? Or does she see light and colors too? I could certainly understand that being frightening.
It’s hard for my brain to figure it out because I have never experienced such a thing. I’m not so sure that even Jessica’s family can understand. They have only learned how to soothe her when she is upset. What a painful task that must be to see their helpless loved one in mental agony.

Jessica has many talents, and one is painting. She comes from an artistic family, with both her mom and grandmother being painters. She can’t paint faces or objects, for she has never seen one. But she does like the feel of putting the paint onto the canvas with a brush. Her favorite color is blue because that is the one she can see a glimpse of. Why blue? Only God knows.

I like to think that when Jessica wakes up in the morning and declares she is in a good mood, her dreams were peaceful the night before. Perhaps she dreams with the loving voices of her mother all around, her favorite music, and her favorite activity, collecting playing cards. Cards that she loves to smell, tap on her nose, and deal so she can hear the sound they make. Perhaps Jessica dreams in watercolors. Tranquil and soothing. That is my wish for her.

It is absolutely amazing to watch this young woman. She has adjusted remarkably to every problem she was given at birth. The main reason she has flourished is, without a doubt, the loving family she lives with. Everyone, including all grandparents, aunts, and uncles, have been involved in Jessica’s life in its entirety. They are a wonderful family, and I enjoy keeping up with all of their lives through YouTube. The vlog’s name is AUTISTIC INTERPRETATIONS if you are interested.

Thanks for reading!!!