Déjà vu at the new school
I picked up Charlie after school on Monday and we headed to the big autism center. We got there a bit before their school day there ends and the front desk told me that our school district has yet to send Charlie's health forms, immunization records, and a letter confirming his going there. I called Charlie's case manager while he and stood in the big circular hallway where the main office and the visitors' entrance is.
And then a woman who was one of Charlie's first speech therapists in another New Jersey town walked up and said hi and held her hand up to her waist, indicating how tall Charlie had been when she'd first met him. She'd heard that a new student is starting at the center (Charlie) and mentioned that another speech therapist who also worked with Charlie in that New Jersey town and also privately in our house—-that this second speech therapist will be working with Charlie.
Déjà vu continued once we got to Charlie's classroom where one of the aides said "hi!" (Charlie and I had met him at the YMCA pool a couple of times). And then I looked at the one student in the room who was bouncing a big therapy ball and realized, he and Charlie had been in the same class in another New Jersey town. They hadn't always been the most happy with each other in those days, I recall; the other child has a twin brother and while they are fraternal twins, they resemble each other closely, and I used to wonder if Charlie found it disconcerting to be a in class with two children who looked almost alike. We already knew that the occupational therapist who worked with Charlie in our current school district is now at the big autism center, so it looks like he'll be among many familiar faces and I can't but think that this should be somewhat to Charlie's advantage.
Charlie himself was serious and held his body stiffly as we walked in the main hallway and looked at his new classroom. He was glad to get back into the white car and told me he wanted to get something to eat. It was only after that, and a bike ride with Jim (which was cut short because it got too dark), that Charlie's lag set in.
We were at the sushi counter in the supermarket and "Lost," which had been one of Charlie's favorite Coldplay songs on the iPod he threw away, had just come on. Before I knew it he was crying loudly and leaning over and flailing around. A woman who's an aide for autistic children came right over and an older man with a thick accent and Charlie was quickly calm with them and a supermarket worker standing by. Jim came as soon as I called him and we walked quietly through the store and headed home as I recalled something called muscicophobia. This can take the form of musicogenic epilepsy, when a person's favorite song causes seizures. I'm not saying that hearing songs he once/still likes a lot causes neurological storms in Charlie, but we've been noticing a connection between Charlie hearing music he likes and "something" happening. Time to talk to the neurologist again.
Charlie used to listen to "Lost" over and over on his iPod. I can see why; the song had a mesmerizing effect and it's still stuck in my head. Frankly, I'm thinking that Charlie knew what he was doing not to have the iPod anymore—and without it, and thanks to the radio, there's a whole new world of music we've been listening to.