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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Writer/Curator/Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project. Contributing Author to Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood, and Concepts of Normality by Wendy Lawson, and soon to be published Gravity Pulls You In. Writing my own book. Lecturer on autism and the media and parenting. Current graduate student Critical Disability Studies and most importantly, mother of Adam -- a new and emerging writer.

“There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.” -- Baruch Spinoza

Friday, October 05, 2007


Oh Dear

Adam has become a competent You Tube user...on his own I might add....without vitamins, detox and chelation therapy, even. Imagine that.

I will have all kinds of reasons to worry that he's watching you tube videos at the age of five. I dread him watching many of the autism ones telling him that he is ill, for instance.

As I re-enter his room after leaving for a bit, I notice he's back on. He's not watching Sesame Street. He's watching "How to Impress a A Woman."

I wonder what this will do to his social skills.


Blogger Bev said...

Hmm...I enjoyed this quite a bit. Not for the message (not at all!), but fonts are one of my "things" and I love seeing the words and letters in motion. Maybe that's the appeal to Adam, too, I don't know.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

Oh most definitely. I was just having fun with this.

Text is also my preseveration. I buy artwork very often that has text-like forms or text embedded within the painting.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Ange said...

My frind's son (3rd grade) loves you tube and ebay. Every time they block it, he finds a way around it. He's particular to the sneeches (Dr. Seuss) and disney.

I absoultely love fonts...I did some flyers recently on one computer, but printed them from a different computer. The fonts didn't carry over and I am still distraught. Seriously I know no one else is going to care what font is on there, but I spent so much time picking out just the right one that conveyed the message I wanted...I had to make myself not fix it (I would typically spend hours doing that and then not accomplish anything else like eat!) Typography was my absolute favorite class in college. I buy books because of how they look more than anything else (who says you can't judge a book by it's cover?). Sorry to go off on a tangent, just glad there are others out there who really like typography!

10:58 AM  
Blogger codeman38 said...

Typography has always been a perseveration of mine as well.

It's rather strange, actually; I can identify a font on first sight, yet I'm also mildly face-blind and often can't recognize people I've met many times. Go figure, eh?

11:08 AM  
Blogger Patti said...

lol - loved that.

My son loves YouTube as well. He'll be 4 next week. His favorite video is The Hiphopapotamus vs. the Rhymenocerous:

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Cori said...

I've been a long time reader, but I've never posted before - but I've got to on this one. My 8yo ASD son has been a You Tube aficionado for a while now. Self taught as well. He loves searching on the text that's in his head. He's found Teletubies singing rude songs, recordings of Spy Fox computer game action, Really Rosie by Carol King, pbs logo animations...and tons more. He loves that he can repeat parts over and over, that he can speed the playback up, that he can freeze on a single image. I find his skill in this astounding - definitely a "thinking-in-pictures" type of guy.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both of my boys love youtube. My 3 year old loves the Thomas the Tank Engine videos (be careful, some people have done some pretty creepy things with Thomas) and Petey (6) loves to find U2 and Queen videos.

karen in ca

5:25 PM  
Blogger Phoebe Gleeson said...

My hyperlexic son, Bede, is also fascinated with type. Lately he has spent hours every day on sites that make glittery text for MySpace pages, free font sites, and the like.

His father is a graphic designer who can identify hundreds of fonts. He has great hopes that Bede will join him in typography creation someday, (and he just might!)

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Elissa said...

My son is an eBay fanatic. He fills up the 'watching' list with jungle animal figurines. I panic every time he goes near it in fear of potential 'bidding'!

4:21 AM  
Blogger misha_k said...

My son loves youtube courtesy of his sister. They can sit together for hours and watch videos. He can do it by himself and will but would rather watch with her. Now ebay? That's his place to roam. Star Wars, Bionicles, Imaginext, jungle animals. He has lists of favorites and looks through them all the time. He hasn't figured out how to bid yet. Or maybe he has, he just knows I won't be happy if he asks me to pay for something.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Casdok said...


10:36 AM  
Blogger Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

My daughter totally loves You tube too. It is great for her shorter attention span. Her favorite are all of the animal videos. I try to make sure she stays within that subject matter. She has even made her own you tube videos now and loves seeing them! You can see them on her blog which is linked from mine.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Maddy said...

Yes we may be heading that way too. Started with stop go animation and then of course you have to upload it to Utube and.......
dear, dear, dear, how will we ever survive!

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

hi estee, great post--it's never to early to learn how to impress a woman... :)

I was looking for your contact information to email you a question and could not find it. Would you mind emailing me? tpoindexter [at] disaboom dot com.


12:14 PM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

Farmwife wrote me and I'm in Edmonton at Autcom,having accidtally clicking on an oldslow (and keyboard) in a shoddy "business centre" here and accidentally deleting it.

please feel free to express yourself here again -- you said (I am copying from my blackberry) in essence that "I have no idea of what it's like to raise an autistic child in Ontario" because I have "a blank chequebook." YOu refer to my excerpt in Between Interruptions because I describe Adam with his nanny, Flor, in a couple of paragraphs. You say you are "thankful for that blank chequebook because of TAAProject" but I don't know what it's like with all the waitlists.

Well, yes we do. We were on TPAS lists and we received funding for ABA before ADam was two. We received funding quickly because he was the youngest on their lists. We wait for CARD we wait for AAC training now (that's another wait of two years here in Ontario) and in the meantime, I study so I can train Adam myself. But as you know from this blog, we abandoned TPAS (ABA) funding. YOu know the reasons why we did -- it didn't suit Adam's needs. We decided to hire our own therapist and she shadows him now at school. Adam still goes to OT and he has an SLP. I know the difficulty of getting him into a good school, and the scarcity of them without a full understanding, sensitivity and a varied approach that teaches each child in their own unique way.

Henry has four other children. We are a family of five. He has had the same nanny for 18 years with his first wife -- I don't think he could have managed without her. Since Flor, the nanny, has no children of her own, when Adam was born, she loved to hold him under our maple tree. Adam fills a spot for her in her life that she never had -- she is nearly fifty and has never been married. That is the nanny you read about in the book. Since then, she babysits Adam when I have to work sometimes.
Sometimes Adam's grandma helps me out. But Flor is like the nanny Temple Grandin had -- the nanny who plays games and Adam laughs so much when he's with her.

As for Adam's programs, I took full charge after firing TPAS- approved agencies. I have worked for nearly four years straight reading, studying and working with Adam myself, trying to find the best ways, people and places for him to learn. Yes, I can afford a bit of that, but I also had to leave my job because of it. I am not complaining -- one just has to to what one has to do. But, no, there is no blank chequebook here. When we can, Henry and I fund centres and progams in order to shorten those waitlists that we have experienced and which haunt me every day. I meet with families, including immigrant families who really are trying to figure out what to do with the few resources they have. I do not think this is a just system we have going.

We are working with other families and autistic people to obtain the supports that ALL families and autistic people need and deserve. So, while you may hold it against me that I have a nanny who works as a babysitter when I have to work, I don't think that that should be the premise by which you assume that I "don't understand what it's really like to have an autistic child," or have not experienced the waits and the injustices.

I want to be upfront with you. I do have access to that shadow, but we have to pay for her privately when such supports should be accessible to everyone. TPAS wouldn't let us choose the kinds of supports that ADam needed. Families deserve the right to choose that shadow who works best with their child.

TAAProject also works for the and/also needs of the many families out there.

9:26 AM  

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