He is the youngest in his family and the oldest in his class of students who are all living somewhere on the spectrum. This has been his class since first grade and it will soon come to an end. Middle school is on his horizon.
You could call him an escape artist. Without any prior notice, he breaks away from the classroom without leaving it. He escapes into another world created by his imagination. He has been known to get up in the middle of the classroom and do his imitation of a drummer. He goes through the motions of drumming without a drum in hand. I don’t know that he owns a drum set, but he must have at least an interest in the instrument.
I relate to him since I am a fellow escape artist. The only difference between his and my escapism is I don’t do a demo for public consumption. When I was his age, I most often escaped in the privacy of my bedroom or the side of the house. I didn’t perform in front of my teacher or classmates. When I invariably got caught in the act of stepping into another world by adults or other kids, it was embarrassing. I knew then as well as now that escapism is just plain weird to the eye of the beholder.
Escapism is a necessity for me and this child. It helps us cope in a world we don’t understand. Living between two worlds is just what we do.