Oh is THAT right.


@cjereneta
onna the twitter

chris.ereneta
atta the gmail

chrisereneta
dotta the com

Archive

Aug
31st
Wed
permalink
The boy’s big cousin taught him how to play with others, how to ride a scooter, how to goof around and make someone else laugh. 
His cousin is in fifth grade now, but will still sometimes walk with him away from the crowds to act out a movie scene, reflected in a shop window.
Big cousins are the best.

The boy’s big cousin taught him how to play with others, how to ride a scooter, how to goof around and make someone else laugh. 

His cousin is in fifth grade now, but will still sometimes walk with him away from the crowds to act out a movie scene, reflected in a shop window.

Big cousins are the best.

Aug
28th
Sun
permalink

Loving Disruptions

When we stop at the donut shop the boy prefers to get a sugar-raised donut and a carton of milk.

At home, at school, everywhere he goes, the boy prefers one thing or another, typically the thing that is the same as the last time, or that one time, or every other time before.

Repetition, familiarity, predictability, sameness, all create a zone of safety for an individual on the spectrum. 

They also create ruts. Walls separating the individual from growth.

It is the role (some might say responsibility) of an ASD individual’s loved ones to disrupt the routines from time to time. To create moments of tiny chaos, that challenge them to tune into their surroundings. 

Like when Grandpa asked him to share some of his donut.

Sometimes these disruptions can trigger the shouting. (Again, with the shouting.) 

But sometimes, when introduced by someone close, the chaos can be created within a safety zone of its own. And the response can be confusion, instead of anger. An opportunity for a moment of give and take.

“What did you say?”

“I asked if I could have some of your donut.”

Sometimes the boy will assert himself, and state a desire to stick to his routine.

“Well, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but… you can get your own donut.”

Acknowledging another person might not like his answer.

That is not a part of his routine.

permalink

Not sure how I missed this

I might have heard about this 2008 Thai action movie, but missed the, you know, HOOK.

The trailer’s on YouTube. The whole movie’s streaming on Netflix.

I know what I’m watching tonight.

Aug
12th
Fri
permalink
Sometimes autism looks like jazz hands in the middle of ten girls who either don’t know their lines or when to come in with them, and even though you know the script backwards and forwards you can’t whisper the lines because you’re wearing a body mic and you don’t want the audience to hear, and a couple of scenes from now you’re going to start panicking and crying because suddenly the teacher has moved a scene out in front of the curtains, which is not how you did it in rehearsal, but you still make your entrance on cue and say your lines confidently through tears because you are a FUCKING PROFESSIONAL, and after the show when you open your Hershey bar and find out that it’s broken and accidentally drop a piece of chocolate and the wrapper on the sidewalk and start screaming and thrashing and punching Daddy over and over and OVER again, and a few minutes later on the drive home, after he’s carried you to the car and you’re feeling much calmer, you ask why you did that, WHY did you hit Daddy like that, and your parents have no answer for you, although inside they’re both wondering if it’s time to start talking to you about autism. 
Sometimes, this is what autism looks like.

Sometimes autism looks like jazz hands in the middle of ten girls who either don’t know their lines or when to come in with them, and even though you know the script backwards and forwards you can’t whisper the lines because you’re wearing a body mic and you don’t want the audience to hear, and a couple of scenes from now you’re going to start panicking and crying because suddenly the teacher has moved a scene out in front of the curtains, which is not how you did it in rehearsal, but you still make your entrance on cue and say your lines confidently through tears because you are a FUCKING PROFESSIONAL, and after the show when you open your Hershey bar and find out that it’s broken and accidentally drop a piece of chocolate and the wrapper on the sidewalk and start screaming and thrashing and punching Daddy over and over and OVER again, and a few minutes later on the drive home, after he’s carried you to the car and you’re feeling much calmer, you ask why you did that, WHY did you hit Daddy like that, and your parents have no answer for you, although inside they’re both wondering if it’s time to start talking to you about autism. 

Sometimes, this is what autism looks like.

Jun
26th
Sun
permalink

Like any other kid

When someone tells you their child is autistic, don’t tell them that you’re sorry.

Ask “What’s s/he like?”

Let the parent say “brilliant” or “funny” or “kind of a challenge these days.”

Ask “Does s/he have a special interest?”

Let the parent say “trains” or “baseball” or “elevators.”

There is a reason it’s called a spectrum (and not a continuum from “better” to “worse”). 

Every spectrum kid is different. Like any other kid is different.

Like any other kid, some days.

Apr
27th
Wed
permalink
Leo (featured in the iPad: Year One video, as well as an SF Weekly cover story) won his original iPad in a school raffle.
Now that he has an iPad 2, his family has decided to raffle off his old iPad. Several developers have also contributed free copies of apps that kids on the spectrum find fun and/or useful.
The winner of the iPad will also receive the following free apps, courtesy of their developers:

Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Oceanhouse Media
Bob Books by Learning Touch
TouchTrainer by Orderd.com
Turn Taker by Orderd.com
Quibble Kids by Chess Pie Media
Swapsies by Spinlight Studio
TallyTots by Spinlight Studios
Speech With Milo: Verbs by Doonan Speech Therapy *NEW*
Speech With Milo: Prepositions by Doonan Speech Therapy
Speech With Milo: Sequencing by Doonan Speech Therapy
All About Me by I Get It! LLC
Color Mix for Kids by EightFold Education *NEW*
Be Confident by Electric Eggplant *NEW*
Zanny: Born to Run by Extra Special Kids LLC *NEW*
GraceApp by Steven Troughton-Smith *NEW*
The Three Little Pigs Interactive Storybook by Nosy Crow Apps *NEW*
iCommunicate by Grembe *NEW*

Proceeds from the raffle will go to the Autism Science Foundation, a pro-science, pro-vaccine organization that funds autism research.
At just $10 (or however much you’d like to contribute), it’s a great potential gift for kids on or off the spectrum.
Buy a ticket, won’t you?

Leo (featured in the iPad: Year One video, as well as an SF Weekly cover story) won his original iPad in a school raffle.

Now that he has an iPad 2, his family has decided to raffle off his old iPad. Several developers have also contributed free copies of apps that kids on the spectrum find fun and/or useful.

The winner of the iPad will also receive the following free apps, courtesy of their developers:

Proceeds from the raffle will go to the Autism Science Foundation, a pro-science, pro-vaccine organization that funds autism research.

At just $10 (or however much you’d like to contribute), it’s a great potential gift for kids on or off the spectrum.

Buy a ticket, won’t you?

Apr
13th
Wed
permalink
Mar
28th
Mon
permalink

At an autism support group, parents of autistic children are better at sharing their troubles than at listening themselves. (1:47)

With a thick coating of evocative music and shallow focus, but goddammit this made me cry. Also: a pretty lady’s smile? I AM NOT MADE OF STONE.

Made by Rethinking Autism, an organization that believes in using good-looking people, autistic adults, and good-looking autistic adults to try to convince you to pay attention. 

(YouTube link)

Dec
10th
Fri
permalink

fireflyandfriends:

Professor Firefly takes attendance at the weekly staff meeting.

(A short snippet from the table reading we did in September.)

I HAVE NOT TOLD YOU ABOUT FIREFLY AND FRIENDS

I am helping to make a TEEVEE SHOW. My wife Christa is MAKING it and I am helping. 

It will be for kids like mine who are bright but socially awkward. It will be for nerds, parents of nerds, and NERD FAMILIES.

It will be SUPER FUNNY and also co-developed with speech therapists who work with kids on the autism spectrum.

Because current videos for ASD kids speak slowly and gently to them as if they are developmentally delayed. When in reality they (or at least the high-functioning ones) are often just CLUELESS and WEIRD.

(The show will help them with the clueless part.)

I will write about this again, when Christa is ready to raise money for her pilot thru Kickstarter.

Here is a short snippet (35 seconds) from the first table reading, where Mark (in the role of Professor Firefly) is really Frank Morganing it up.

(Source: fireflyandfriends)

Nov
22nd
Mon
permalink

Hyperlexicon:

I remember a time several years ago before Ben had very much language when he was eating crackers. I cut him off after what I judged to be enough. He reached and struggled for the box, yowling, “Box! Box! Box!”

"No more crackers." I said holding my limit-setting ground.

Frustration and its attendant trappings ensued, until he finally got the box and started reading the copy on the back.

He just wanted to read the box.

The video (YouTube link) is a minute-and-a-half long melodrama, a PSA from Japan about a boy on the spectrum, and the adults working to cope with and understand his difference.

It’s a smart bit of story compression, even if its emotional pitch is severely overclocked.

Our boy is far more engaged with the world outside himself than the child portrayed here; more playful, more verbal, more capable of charming others with his confidence, his expressiveness, and his comedic timing.

But still we who have raised him (as well as his team of committed school professionals¹) have days like this, where we feel stymied by an inscrutable and implacable need of his. Even now, when he is so much more capable of language to express himself, there are moments when I draw him close, his eyes welling up with tears as I tell him that I want to help him, we’re a team, we can figure it out together.

And then he punches me in the jaw.²

We’ve never taken him to a doctor for his autism. Never tried to cure him by removing dairy or wheat from his diet, or by injecting compounds into his body to flush the heavy metals from his bloodstream.³

The job instead, it seems to me, is to help him grow into a man who understands that while there is a time and a place for his agenda, that sometimes it is more important to simply sit and have a conversation with his spouse about dining room chair options, or to pretend that the executive director of his organization has the slightest clue what the @#$% she is talking about, or to draw a stupid tree when he is asked.

Without. punching. anyone.


¹Paid for by the people of Oakland and the state of California, so: THANKS FOR THAT.
²Fortunately, he isn’t any good at this.
³And angry reblog in 5… 4… 3…