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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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Proud Mom

School is almost over and camp is soon to begin. In closing the school year, Adam did a timeline of his life which you can view on Adam's own blog here.

I am swelling with pride for all the hard work he has done and I am that he's had a wonderful year at a truly inclusive school. Every day Adam always looked forward to seeing his friends there and started initiating "peer interaction." (I don't like using over-used terms, as they come to reflect what is otherwise known as "appropriate peer interaction" as opposed to simply peer interaction that may appear atypical -- or of peer interest that may appear atypical to onlookers).

I also verified this year that Adam's verbal communication cannot reflect what he thinks and how sophisticated he is. For instance, if I have a family albumn, he may say "dog" for daddy, deferring to an easier "d" word he knows. However, if he labels them with the written form, he can match names to his family members easily.

It's just an important point I want to make. Speech is not always as reliable as text.


Blogger VAB said...

The disconnect between intended speech/meaning and actual output is one of the things that I see reported again and again by autistic adults. I know our guy finds it very frustrating. It's great that Adam has his device to help him. We never even thought of that, even though our guy could read long before he could talk. In future it will be standard practice to offer kids with speech delays the opportunity to write.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Niksmom said...

Estee, that is not a small point at all. It's huge, huge, huge. I know if we relied on Nik's verbal abilities then we would presume him to be grossly delayed in intellect; his nonverbal (though not written at this point) conveys so much more.

You have so much to be proud of in Adam in every way! :-)

1:29 PM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...


I was the's not small at all!!!

1:43 PM  
Blogger Alyric said...

Not that I know anything here, but it seems to me to be a very big point. Reminds me of the tack they're taking with Down's kids- teach them to read as early as possible. Here it seems - teach/assist autistic kids with communication as early as possible. Why is that so hard a concept?

Sorry - rhetorical question while ABA therapists are the only option.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

Okay. I'll take "small point" out!!! :) For those reading this comment thread, I said, "It's just a small, but important point I want to make."

I changed it to "it's an important point I want to make."



3:22 PM  
Blogger Joeymom said...

Yes, we have a lot of this. Joey knows a lot more than he can speak. Given paper, he is much better at communicating. I can hardly wait for him to learn to type.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

The J-man is somehow learning his letters - I mean, we sing the alphabet song to him and that kind of thing, but we weren't holding up flashcards or anything, because he's TWO! However, if you ask him to type certain letters, he can, and now he is starting to actually pick up the flashcards we hurriedly got and say the letter associated, and sometimes what the picture is as well. We're not sure if just reading the Dr. Seuss alphabet book was the trigger or what, but HURRAY for my kid knowing way more than he can verbalize. And Adam too!

9:58 PM  
Blogger sahar said...

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6:02 PM  

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