My So Serious?

Here is a candid shot of my son: And here is posed photograph, taken seconds later: As you can see, he has mastered the art of saying “cheese” without smiling. Worse, we accidentally trained him to associated cameras with the saying of “cheese” rather than with smiling, so the face above is what appears in everything from school photos to

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Triptych

1. Shortly after my son was born, in the hospital delivery room, I stuck my tongue out at him. I had read that infants would imitate adults who did so in one of those innumerable baby books, but got no response. I tried several more times in the coming months, but don’t believe he ever mimicked my action. I have often wondered

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The Reason I Jump

Have you read "The Reason I Jump", the book written by the autistic child If so, what were your thoughts about it? My wife first brought this book to my attention last month, and shortly thereafter I saw the Daily Show interview with David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and translator of The Reason I Jump. I swiped my wife’s Kindle and read it in roughly 24

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Follow the Leader

Here’s something I noticed about my son even before we suspected he may have ASD: other children gravitated to him. This was especially apparent on the playground, where you often have a gaggle of kids who do not know one another. We would let him loose, and he would quickly accumulate an entourage. As usual, I have a hypothesis. One

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Calculus

Thank you for your blog. I’ve frequently enjoyed your writing, but as the mother if an autistic four-year-old boy, I’ve been reading closely of late. I was wondering if you might be willing to write about whether or not having a child with autism has had any effect on your and your wife’s decisions about family size? I know it

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Body Language

I describe my son as “largely non-verbal”, by which I mean that he scripts, and will make simple requests, but does not communicate abstract ideas. Even so, he and I have conversations of a sort. We just have to rely on something other than words. When we are in the house he comes to “check in” often. If he finds me in an

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Opening Up

Email from a friend: Saw your post on Facebook linking out to your blog and spent the last 30+ minutes devouring the information and went on a roller coaster ride of emotions. In the last 5? 6? 7? years that I’ve known you, you’ve been such a private person when it comes to your family and I almost felt like

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ABA

At the conclusion of the Toddler Assessment Project, in which my son was diagnosed, the researchers provided us with counseling on our options for treatment. At the time, there were two types of treatment with enough evidence of efficacy for them to recommend: DIR (Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-Based Approach, also known as “Floortime”) and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). They gave the edge

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A Simple Man

My son is essentially a clean-shaven Ron Swanson. We struggle to find dinner foods that he will try, and his lunch often comes home from school half eaten, but serving him breakfast is like putting paper in a shredder. Waffles, french toast, pancakes — our expenditures on maple syrup may well be keeping Canada afloat. He likes toast and bagels

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