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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

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Another Milestone

Adam lost his first tooth today while eating his chocolate ice-cream bar for dessert. Were it not for his wisdom in passing it to me -- this hard thing the size of a kernel of corn that I thought was a foreign object in the ice-cream, I would have never been able to store it in the silver-case-for-first-teeth someone gave me when Adam was born. I keep every first -- first pair of walking shoes, first outfit, first lock of cut hair and now, first tooth. Of course, I was excited as Adam lolled his tongue around the empty spot, then his finger -- the feeling so foreign. I showed him his lost tooth in the mirror and he smiled. We wrote a story about it and that the tooth fairy that leaves money under the pillow to buy candy (so he can lose more teeth), in the morning. Then, I pulled out the Brother label maker and we had a little bedtime conversation I wish to share. While Adam's verbal ability increases little by little, he has a difficult time with conversation and full sentences.

"Adam," I proceeded to ask, "what happened today?"

He typed, "I lost my tooh."

"How does mommy feel about that?" I asked.

"Mommy is proud," he wrote -- all on his own.

He then typed out some other "feelings" he has been learning on the computer such as sad, angry, ecstatic. I realized these were the feelings he is learning from this particular program to which I said, "that's right, we were talking about mommy's feelings and those are feelings too."

Adam had spent the day playing at his friend's house -- with Daniel and his brother Brandon. He had spent nearly five hours there and I had left him there to play. He did not wish to come home (nor did I blame him after four days being cooped up at home with the flu). So, of course I had to ask,

"How do you feel about Daniel?" to which he replied, "I like duno." I guess names are a little more difficult to spell.

I've been watching Adam play on his computer, read books since he has been nine months old, copy words from reading to paper (even though his hand-writing is still difficult to decipher). And all it has taken is a little concerted effort, some directed questions, a Brother label maker, and a child's electronic dictionary. Okay, and a literacy program, and a good inclusive school, and some great people who work with us every day.

For this mom anyway, having conversations no matter what the form, is just as exciting as the lost first tooth.


Blogger VAB said...

Way cool -- on all fronts!

10:12 PM  
Blogger kristina said...

All too wonderful. Thanks for sharing this.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Casdok said...

First tooth!!
To this day i dont know what happened to any of my sons teeth when they fell out! (I know he didnt swollow then as he smears so i would have found them! Sorry was that to much info!!)

3:28 AM  
Blogger S said...

My little one (6) is wiggling his first if it isn't out by Feb 5th (dental surgery) I suspect it will be pulled. Will have to write him a story too. My eldest drew pictures b/c he swallowed the first couple.

Good luck w/ school. I got another slap on Thurs.. this time it was speech therapy or the lack thereof. My youngest only gets CONSULT???? Haven't figured out who to complain to yet, working on it. Good thing we just hired a private SLP who started last week.

Still need a laptop for Writing w/ Symbols for the kitchen table. Then... we'll try hard to catch up with your typing/comprehension :) Hopefully by Mar.


10:14 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Yay Adam and Yay MoM!

(steals from Larry Curly and Moe)

Inch by Inch, Step by Step!

2:47 PM  
Blogger laurentius rex said...

"The maltster's lack of teeth appeared not to sensibly diminish his powers as a mill. He had been without them for so many years that toothlessness was felt less to be a defect than hard gums an acquisition."
Hardy T. Far From the Madding Crowd. London: Macmillan Ltd, 1874.

And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges for I am acquiring hard gums and one day my celebration will not be my first tooth, but my last one ....

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOOHOO! that is wonderful, news, Estee! the conversation, self-expression, fun with friends and this sweet milestone, the first lost tooth. congratulations on all counts!!

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across this blog by pure chance. It touched me a lot. A young teacher from Italy hugs Adam with all her heart :)

4:09 PM  

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