Archive for April, 2012
Before this past Saturday afternoon, we had one experience with Special Olympics.
Clay was in middle school. The teacher told my wife to show up for the opening ceremonies at 9 a.m., not realizing that Clay’s event wouldn’t take place until the afternoon. A hot day at the local high school football stadium. Swarming crowds. A blaring marching band. General chaos. You can do the math.
My wife lasted about an hour (thanks to a nearby John Deere tractor that drew Clay like a magnet) before heading home, where the overwhelmed Olympian fled to the safety of his bed and fell asleep. Three years later the scars are still raw. Read the rest of this entry »
Babble, an award-winning Web site for parents owned by Disney, is holding a contest for the 30 best autism blogs. Somehow, Life with Clay wound up being nominated. (OK, the nomination may have come from Clay’s number one fan.) That being said, if you care to cast a vote for this blog, it would be much appreciated. You can vote here or click on the Vote for Me box on your right. Then, find Life with Clay (currently on the second page of the list) and click “I like this” Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
When we got to the stables for Clay’s regular Saturday morning horseback ride last week, we had no idea if he would get on the horse.
Lately, it has been about a 50/50 shot.
Horseback riding is one of the few activities that Clay seems to truly engage in, something we learned quickly when he climbed on a horse the first time we visited a stable. He connects with horses, pressing his forehead against them, petting them. He is all smiles at the stables. But, starting a few months back, it has been a struggle to get him up in the saddle. Read the rest of this entry »
Last spring, I reported that a family of black vultures had taken up residence in the loft above our garage.
We were initially nervous at the arrival of these Shamu-size predators, fearing in particular for the life of our wee basset hound. No need to worry, Clay said, “ … they are docile.”
As usual, the little fellow turned out to be right, and we coexisted peacefully with the vultures throughout the summer. They even taught us a lesson about not judging a book by its cover (a lesson we learn over and over with Clay). When it appeared they had moved on for the winter, we still found ourselves watching for them on the roof when we came up the driveway or hung out in the backyard.
Later today, Clay is making his third presentation to a class at Arcadia University. He’s practically a grizzled old veteran at this point.
In his first presentation, he talked about what typing has meant to him:
“My life was poor before I was typing. Now I am a free soul,” he told the class.
In his second presentation, he talked about his frustration that he is not typing more at school and about his Mom.
“I type well with my mom,” he typed. “She asks me lots of questions. she loves me very much.”
I won’t be able to make the third presentation, but I have a sneak preview to share since Clay was working on what he wants to say with his typing teacher, Lisa Romaine, on Saturday.
Here is part of what he has written, so far:
“i want to tell them i am very happy they want to see a person talk with a ipad. i hope they see it is me typing not mom. really hard to explain that it is me when mom is holding my arm. want to explain that i am smart but look retarded to most people. this is my biggest problem. i am smarter than i seem. just because i am not like you does not mean i am notworth knowing. think if you could not say what you wanted and only could type it with a person holding your arm. it sucks but is the only way for me.”
On Sunday, my wife asked him about using the word “retarded”.
“You’ve used the word ‘retarded’ twice now. Where did you learn that word?”
“ from school. some kids say it. they are stupid.”
“ Do they say it to you?”
“ no to each other. awesome to talk tomorrow. ”
Awesome, for sure. Can’t wait to hear how presentation number three comes out.