Archive for February, 2011

Gaining Control

Father and son carrying tree in streetI lost it a few nights ago.

It started when someone (it truly doesn’t matter who, we’ve all done it) forgot to put the lock back on the bathroom closet. While my wife and I were eating dinner, Clay was upstairs quietly dumping witch hazel, mouthwash and shampoo on the bathroom floor, creating an inch-thick, three-foot-wide slippery soup. We cleaned it up as best we could (although two days later the bathroom still smelled minty fresh), and went back to eating.

It continued with Clay taking his pajamas off every 5-10 minutes for the next hour or so. (An odd compulsion we’ve been battling lately.)

And it culminated when I found him pajama-less, spinning on the floor in our bedroom. The little guy has been home too much with the cold and snowy weather. He’s bored. We understand. We all have cabin fever at this point. Fuses are short. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tight Spaces

One night about a week ago, Clay disappeared on me.

With my wife at a meeting, it was just us guys for the evening. I was attempting to work in my office in the finished attic—while our basset hound, Miles, nudged against my leg demanding to be petted—when the silence below forced my nose out of my laptop.

No one would ever refer to Clay as a quiet little bunny. He maintains a steady stream of talking, mixed with squeaks and squawks, pretty much from dawn to midnight. When we go food shopping, I always know where Clay and my wife are, even from three aisles away. As I am typing this I can hear him downstairs watching Shrek in his room, screeching and clapping. A ghostly quiet grabs your attention.

Downstairs I went, checking the little guy’s usual haunts—his room, the upstairs bathroom, our bedroom, the room above the kitchen where we set up a computer so he can listen to his favorite music. (The last few weeks he’s played a steady stream of Andrea Bocelli’s Romanza, Willie Nelson’s 16 Biggest Hits and Johnny Cash’s The Man Comes Around.) No sign of Clay. I headed down to the living room, family room and kitchen. Still no sweet sound of babble. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Royal ‘We’

While I am off in San Antonio—visiting the basement of the Alamo, among other things—Clay’s number one fan and my wife, Roe DeLuca, has graced us with a guest blog post. Enjoy.

If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you may have noticed an interesting component of Clay’s writing: he refers to himself as “we.”

When he first started using it, I thought he was talking about the two of us, since he currently needs resistance on his wrist when typing to jump-start brain-body connections. However, it was soon clear I was off the mark. He was, in fact, talking about himself.

The clarity of Clay’s deepness and spiritual connection became apparent last summer, when his typing really took off. A few times he would eagerly lift his hand to signal he wanted to say something, and then type some surprising statements. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Day Without …

As usual, one of the first things my wife did when she got home from work the other day was ask Clay—on his keyboard—how his day went.

I thought I had a pretty good idea what he would type.

The afternoon sitter said he had been in a good mood since coming home from school.

The note from his teacher said he had “a good day.” She mentioned that he was “very chatty” and that he sat well while listening to stories in the library. He also worked on some Valentine’s Day cards for friends and family. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sitter Search

The woman who has been sitting with Clay four afternoons a week gave her notice this week, sending us scrambling for a replacement.

Clay is in high school, so gets home by 2:30 most days, leaving a long afternoon ahead. The little guy needs some down time, a chance to “decompress” from school. But we also want his afternoons to be productive, filled with activities, typing, reading, homework and a minimum of “stimming” (rolling on the floor, jumping on the bed, etc.)

So, we have two weeks to find a new sitter with the right personality, experience with autism and, preferably, a background in special education. I had to double-check my math, but this will be our sixth sitter in a little more than a year and a half. That’s a lot of change. (I don’t think it’s me, but to be safe, I’m vowing to begin showering at least twice a week going forward.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Super Sunday

The sun was shining Sunday afternoon and the thermometer read a balmy 40 degrees. A good day to stretch our legs at a nearby state park before the next storm hits in what feels like an endless winter. Clay, my wife, our basset hound Miles and I piled in the car with visions of clear trails running along the snow covered forest. Deer lapping quietly at the edge of the icy creek. Canada geese honking and splashing.

Turns out we weren’t the only ones with those visions. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Gift

Mailman bearing giftsAs soon as I saw the return address on the package I had a pretty good idea what was inside.

The package, from a good friend in Colorado, was addressed to both of us, so I left it on the counter with the other mail for my wife to open.

What did I think it was? I mentioned in a blog post around Christmas that Clay had broken a couple of ornaments, including a fragile Grinch globe that we had been hanging on our tree for 20 years.  I know our friend in Colorado is a huge fan of Dr. Seuss, like Clay, and an avid reader of this blog. Putting two and two together, I figured it was a replacement ornament.

It turned out to be a much more generous gesture. Read the rest of this entry »

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