Getting a new pair of shoes was a butterflies-in-the-stomach experience for me as a kid. Nearly in the same category as a visit to the dentist.
Once a year my mother would take my brother and I to a corner store in a decaying neighborhood near where she grew up. Inside, an old man, stooped with age, arthritic fingers smelling of foot sweat, breath reeking of feta cheese and death, carefully measured our feet – poking and prodding – while we sat in tiny chairs. Next, he would retreat to the back room, which I imagined contained all sorts of horrors – a wreath made of pinky toes, jars of pickled children’s feet, the mummified carcass of Dr. Scholl. Read the rest of this entry »
I was coming down the steps into our living room Sunday night, when I looked up to see Clay up to his elbow in a good scratch. Without going into great detail, let’s just say that the warm weather brings with it increased irritation in certain regions of the body that don’t get as much air as other parts.
While gazing at this vision, I neglected to put my foot on the last step and wound up face down on the wood floor with a crash so loud our neighbor Frank probably heard it. The book I was carrying landed across the room. Read the rest of this entry »
Last Friday night, for the third year in a row, we took Clay to the high school prom put on by the Autism Cares Foundation, an amazing local group. The last two years went relatively smoothly, so we didn’t expect any surprises this time. Clay, of course, had other plans.
While I headed out after dinner to visit my Mom on Mother’s Day, my wife sat down with Clay in front of his iPad to see if he had anything he wanted to say.
Turns out he did:
“we so want to tell you happy mother’s day. we love you so much.”
A great start, but there was more: Read the rest of this entry »
After working through most of last weekend, I decided to reward myself with a few hours off on Wednesday morning. Spring is in bloom at last in our neck of the woods. A walk at a nearby state park seemed like the way to go. Read the rest of this entry »
Clay’s Mom and number one fan, Roe DeLuca, provides an update today about how the little fellow weathered the recent hurricane. Thanks, everyone, for your patience. We hope to start blogging more frequently again in the near future.
We should have known as we made the biweekly Saturday trip to see Clay’s typing teacher that we were experiencing the calm before the Hurricane Sandy storm.
It seemed as if everyone along our route to North Jersey was out driving—and all of them were in line getting gas for their cars and filling tank after tank to fuel their generator.
Once there, Clay quickly got to work and had a lot to say:
my typing is good today because my brain is very calm and my badly coordinated body moves better when my thinking is calm.
It was clear the hurricane was on his mind:
getting ready for disasters is stressful work but being home with your family is more important than wasting time at gas stations. this will be a interesting event that might be a historical event or a big dissappointment. i think a historical event.
That was Saturday, and with the storm scheduled to hit our area Monday night into Tuesday, it gave us some time to prepare. Read the rest of this entry »
“We are the perfect example of intelligence working itself out in a different way.”
– Tracy Thresher -
The night before we took Clay to see a presentation by Tracy Thresher, we asked if he wanted to prepare some questions or thoughts to share.
Tracy, one of the stars of the movie Wretches & Jabberers, learned later in life to communicate through typing and has been spreading the word ever since not to judge people with autism by what you see. (Wretches and Jabberers follows Tracy and his friend Larry Bissonnette as they travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland to type with others who have broken out of the silent world of autism.)
We figured he offered a rare role model for Clay. Clay’s typing teacher invited us to attend the presentation, which took place at a school run by Celebrate the Children.
Clay made it clear he didn’t want to prepare anything, but we hoped once we got there he might have some thoughts.