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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

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Reasons to Smile

As I wrote already, Adam lost his first tooth last week. I had to travel for a couple of days, and the reports from school were that he went to all his friends to continue boasting how he lost a tooth.

"Tooth fell out," as he pointed with his finger. "Tooth fell out!"

Like all kids whose teeth fall out, he is really fascinated by this so much so, he is interacting and telling his peers, I think, more than ever. Yet, Adam can quietly work alongside them, even WITH them -- currently he is learning the map of Canada and already interested in the provinces. He knows were Nunavut is. I do not (except that is far North somewhere). As Adam's classmatees come to know him, they accept that he doesn't talk much, and they jest me that I come too early and peer at him. Adam, who has only been at this school for a year now, likes to push me away from recess and doesn't like me to come and get him before his classmates also have to leave. For us, that is really something. Peshaw with all those who believe that autistic people (even the non verbal ones who appear as if they are not paying attention) do not want to be social!!

Adam has also started his first REAL piano lessons. We loved music therapy, but I thought now is the time (since he is interested) to learn to really play.

Here he is with Grandma (grandparents are wonderful and patient teachers) as he has to learn to count and move and study his fingers. He already knows how to count and move his fingers, but this is a piano exercise. I'd say he's already got it down pat.

So, there are many reasons for us to smile as we continue to grow and learn.


Blogger kyra said...

he looks adorable with that big boy gap!!

hooray for adam! we just started piano classes here, too!

12:03 PM  
Blogger Casdok said...

Lovely photos!
He is very lucky to have such wonderful Grandparents.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Niksmom said...

The pictures of Adam are so adorable. The concentration in the piano exercise one...ooh.

One of the reasons Nik's school dismissed the autism diagnosis for Nik (in spite of having it confirmed by 3 neuros, his pedi, and a developmental pedi!)..."he's too interested in people." ARGH!

Looking forward to reading more about the piano lessons.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Maddy said...

Glad you have those grandparents as I'm of the opinion that teaching my little lot to play the piano would fall into the same category as me teaching them to drive!
Best wishes

6:30 PM  
Blogger aspiemom said...

I love his little face and the missing teeth. We're experiencing that w/my youngest. I'll miss this age.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Phil Schwarz said...

Hey Adam,

Very cool about your tooth!

I have travelled to 7 of Canada's provinces: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. I haven't yet been to Newfoundland-and-Labrador, Manitoba, or Saskatchewan. I haven't been to Yukon, Northwest Territories, or Nunavut, either, but I know where they are. Nunavut is not very much older than you are -- it was created in 1999. I think it's really cool that you are starting to learn Canadian geography.

11:15 PM  
Blogger kristina said...

Charlie lost a tooth last weekend too----must be something in the air!

11:02 PM  
Blogger LAA and Family said...

It's terrific to hear that Adam is doing so well interacting with his classmates at school. Do you think he gets a lot of support from staff with this? It sounds to me like Adam is doing it on his own.

It is my dream that one day Samuel will take music lessons. His older brother takes piano lessons. Samuel will play around on it from time to time, but not too often. Something on my agenda for us to pursue as we get more comfortable with our schedule.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

Thanks everyone. Phil, I'm going to print out your comment for Adam to read. He is beginning to type out sentences on an Alphasmart Neo that I just got and he's blowing my mind (next blog post). All of a sudden (to me, not to him as he's been reading books since 9 months of age), he wants me to read him longer, complex stories. So much so, I am losing my voice before bedtime every night.

LAA and family:

The staff at his school are very accepting of him. I feel we are exceptionally lucky here. He does go to school with a shadow and the balance is making sure that the teachers interact and have a stake in Adam's success and KEEP interacting and being his teachers who understand him. I feel that this is a daily task to keep this in balance. The shadow has to really back off and only step in when he needs assistance. Some days she leaves early and lets the teachers do their work. This is good for everyone.

Adam, because the nature of the school is calm and quiet, has grown by leaps and bounds socially. While he still cannot say "play with me," he wants to get in their and be squished and in the midst of the noise in the gym. Last year, he would have melted and cried. This year, he pushes me out of the gym as if to say "go away mom, I'm having too much fun and you're spoiling it for me!" It has been such a delight for me to be thusly rejected!! :)

Adam is a gentle little boy and to see him rough and tumble a bit -- and enjoying it -- is sooo new for me.

I am going to have Adam write one of our up and coming blog posts. Turns out he has a lot to say.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Navi said...

yes, peshaw that they don't want to socialize, or can't read emotions.

My son and his baby sister have an interesting relationship. They're close, but they have some serious sibling rivalry going on, like what you'd see with typical siblings... especially when it comes to getting attention from mom. And he's not verbal and frequently seems as if he's not paying attention (but we learn from his reactions sometimes that he really is paying attention - he smiles if I talk about him in third person positively)

12:36 PM  

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