What Is

Charlie on the beach at his favorite spot on the Jersey Shore I opened up Charlie's school notebook to read that he'd had a "wonderful day." He's been working well, talking and requesting. Lately, his teacher wrote in his school notebook, he's been asking her "up," pointing to her shoulders, trying to hold her hand, all with a huge smile. 

In doing this, I suspect Charlie's recalling one of his former (and first) ABA therapists; this particular therapist was a dancer and she'd pick up Charlie and set him on her shoulders. Charlie's taller than his teacher, and most likely taller than that therapist now, so I think he considers his attempts to ask to be carried a joke; hence his grins and giggles. Hearing that he's been asking his teacher to carry him like one of his first well-remembered ABA therapists suggests that Charlie is equating her with them—a very good sign of how much Charlie likes his teacher in particular and his school more generally.

(On how the later start time and a first thing in the morning bout of physical activity might be helping him, here's a Care2.com post.)

After I picked him up on Wednesday, I explained to him that we were going to go by the same spot where, on Tuesday, he'd gotten upset when I drove right instead of left. I explained that I was going to drive right, noted that this was the exact place where he'd been really scared, and that I knew he could handle it. Jim and I had talked about how listening to certain CDs seems to add to the likelihood of neurological storms brewing, so we had told Charlie we'd be sticking to the radio for a bit. So Charlie was holding a certain black and white CD in his hand when we came to The Fated Spot. I paused to check the traffic, I drove into a traffic circle and around to the right we went.

All was fine.

We walked, we YouTubed it, Charlie wrote the date and a very nice rendition of "Wednesday." He asked to put his socks on and we got back in the white car. He'd tugged in the big, beat-up case of CDs and took out the black and white one and pushed it towards me: "Turn on, turn on."

I had already turned on the radio and we heard "Come Together." The image of the wooden stereo my parents used to play records on—including their two "Beatles Hits"—came, crisp and clear, into my mind. A glance in the rear view mirror revealed big-eyed Charlie, intent and a little puzzled at the new sounds. We came to a stop at an intersection and I kid you not, on came "It's the End of the World As We Know It." I'm usually a little stingy with the volume with Charlie—he likes it loud, but the loudness definitely over-stimulates—but I had to turn it up for that song and my oh so serious, carefully listening boy.

Other songs came on, we went to the grocery store, Billy Joel was playing when I started up the car again and I switched to a different channel, heard a saxophone playing something familiar. Sounds alternating back and forth so you could almost hear the words a love supreme—an old favorite of Charlie's.

Come Together. 

It's the End of the World As We Know It. 

A Love Supreme.

Music and motion with Charlie. Explaining things, talking about why we were changing directions, and doing so: That's what was going on with us on Wednesday.

'Nuff said.

Charlie at the grocery store

5 Responses to “What Is”
  1. Judy T says:

    What a wonderful day! Do you ever think: a year ago, I never would have believed this would have been possible!?
    Magical moments …

  2. Niksmom says:

    I completely agree with Judy T. What a great day. I love hearing how Charlie is joking with his teacher and how he seems so at ease with her. Wonderful!

  3. Linda says:

    This entry brings tears. Your tenacity and love are moving. Dr. Chew is Dr. Mom.

  4. autismvox says:

    I had indeed thought such days were on their way to becoming a thing of the past!

  5. Regina says:

    What a good day -excellent.
    Happy for Charlie, you and Jim. My fingers are crossed that today was good as well and tomorrow too.
    Warm regards.

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