Trains and Trains (#590)

Can it be a coincidence that we have often lived near the train? Maybe this is why Charlie has never shown too much interest in Thomas the Tank Train: The real thing is rattling by on a real track that smells of hot metal and dust and heat and sometimes, too, he gets to get … Continue reading

The Garbage Is Out (#589)

Nothing like solving an Autismland mystery. For the past two days, Charlie has been taking out the garbage, without anyone requesting him too, and with total disregard for the interesting, and odoriferous contents therein (it is the garbage in the kitchen). “Gar-badge!” he proclaims, and looks towards where the can is stored under the sink, … Continue reading

What Will Charlie Say About Himself? (#588)

From writing about Charlie so much online I have become even more aware of the difference between what I say about him, and who he is—who he really is. I don’t know how Charlie would represent himself, would think best to represent himself, or how. It’s very easy for a parent to be presumptive—-and very … Continue reading

One Word Can Make a Big Difference (#587)

Single words can take on big meanings for Charlie. My mention of Jim’s older sister means one word to Charlie, her dog. Charlie was fascinated with “Portia doggy” three years ago but is now so terrified at the thought of her that Charlie said “NO” today when I said his aunt was visiting. Then there … Continue reading

Bowling Together (#586)

“Does he have friends?” I always pause when people ask me that about Charlie. Do they mean “same-aged peers who he regularly sees and plays and interacts with”? The answer is no, in that case. Sometimes my interlocutor presses on: “Well, what about his classmates? They’re his friends, aren’t they?” Well, not exactly, would be … Continue reading

Hot Topics in Autismland (#585)

As much as I was excited to start writing another autism blog back in April, I had a few hesitations, namely, what more did I have to say about autism than to record the stuff of our days—tough moments, triumphs, random musings in watching Charlie grow up? Moreover, I was not at all sure how … Continue reading

Melody & Wail (#584)

Familiar melody, low grunts. Melody, grunts. Charlie was singing in the shower, a tune I knew I should be able to identify. He sung the bars with the tune on key, with that sweet lilt his voice has when he is not being asked to speak and to produce language on command. That strain in … Continue reading

Hugg! (#583)

This is Charlie’s new word. Racing back and forth whump onto my bed and jump onto the couch he stops short. “Hugg!” On the highway as I’m switching lanes, Charlie sitting up straight with his legs tucked under him, Sweet & Dandy playing. “Hugg!” For “hugg” (1) I hop up and hurry over to wrap … Continue reading

I need break! (#582)

It took Charlie some two and a half years to learn to say that. I don’t mean to pronounce the sounds, the /n/ instead of /m/, the final /d/, and /r/ following the /b/ instead of a /w/. Charlie could say a passable rendition of those three words—I need break—-two and a half or so … Continue reading

Finely Tuned (#581)

Charlie, as I have written before, is not drawn to computers. When he was younger, mechanical devices (automatic garage door openers in particular and garage doors in general) were his fascination and I had to keep limiting the number of times he could push the button (“just two more than we’re done!”) for fear that … Continue reading

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