Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Season of Miracles

XboxImage via Wikipedia

*Friend* in the house, playing Xbox with Elmer.
Just a couple of guys doing stuff.
That's a miracle for Elmer, whose elementary school years were miserable and lonely. Whose wonderful 7th grade year met all his needs but one: friends. A friend was the missing piece; his heart's desire.
Earlier the two boys, who look like Mutt and Jeff, played Killer Bunnies and got something to eat before moving downstairs to the Xbox. No need for management or parental intervention.
I am going to have to renegotiate my contract -Elmer does not need the same level of services. These days we are enjoying the blessings of normal.
And for us, normal is a miracle.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Mystery solved

Not genetics. Not the environment. Nope, Autism is increasing because of study.
Get me copy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Festival of LIghts

Happy HanukkahImage by Ben Golub via Flickr

If you have a kid on the autism spectrum, you know that there are a thousand points where things can go wrong, every day. So we carefully manage our kids, picking and choosing where they go and what they do; prepping them; having Plan B's in place; all the while, schooling them in life skills, social skills, self-awareness, and flexibility.

Last night was loaded with opportunities for things to go wrong: company. We were having company for dinner; company Elmer didn't know; a family with a 6-year-old I'd invited to share Hanukkah dinner.

After spending the morning volunteering at the YMCA Xmas tree sale, Elmer was in good spirits. I asked if he knew of anything a 6-year-old could do in our house: "Nope". "Oh, well," I said, "I trust you will be a good host."

Mamas, he was a delightful human being, as my father would say; charming, witty, appropriate, de-light-ful. (on the festival of lights!)

He ushered in our guests, offered them beverages, sat on the couch and chatted with them, found books for the 6-year-old, stayed at the table for the whole meal, exhibited decent table manners. He even demonstrated advanced etiquette; asking, before polishing off the salad, "Would anyone like more salad?" He got the dreidel* game going, parcelling out gelt and pennies; and kept everyone happy and entertained for scores of spins.

*The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top that children play with on Hanukkah. Each side is imprinted with a Hebrew letter. These letters are an acronym for the Hebrew words נס גדול היה שם (Nes Gadol Haya Sham, "A great miracle happened there").

Here, too, Mamas. Here, too.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Alexander Graham Bell speaking into a prototyp...Image via Wikipedia

Elmer's 6' tall. He runs the snowblower. And he got a phone call.
He's on the call right now with "Nickolai from Camp Kodiak", apparently a pal from last summer. I'm eavesdropping from the top of the stairs as they talk about paintball, snow, rain, school, normal stuff. It's one of those milestones Tania at TeenAutism writes about. Not a big deal for most kids, but meaningful for him.
And me. My cheeks ache from grinning.
He's hung up now and returned to Xbox live, normal teenage stuff.
I imagine Nickolai talking to his Mom about the call; her pride in his milestone.
Thank you, Alexander Graham Bell*, Camp Kodiak, Nickolai, and his mama.

*his mama, too.
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