Photo by Vlastula
We built the boy his own computer over the winter break. Cobbled together from pieces donated by friends, bought on sale, and all assembled with a fair bit of elbow grease, it’s a fairly beefy Minecraft machine, and it plays his new favorite game, BeamNG.drive.
He’s been getting up in the mornings and going straight to the computer. He can’t log in—I know the password, I am the gatekeeper—but I’m fine with him playing a little before school, so I’ll groggily unlock it for him, and then go make coffee, lunches, etc.Continue reading
A commendation on a very rough day.
As many of you may know, Michael was laid off last month (right before his birthday). It’s put a decided crimp on our holiday cheer, but we’re trying to focus on the positive. He’s got some good leads, but as this is a perilously difficult time to get a job we’re hunkering down and preparing for the months to come.
When it comes to Liam’s school though, we’ll do everything we can keep him there as long as possible. In spite of his very good week the last time we posted, he’s had a tough go. Not without moments of triumph, but certainly harder than usual. Unlike normative children, he struggles to put into words what’s bothering him — we know that Michael’s job loss weighs heavily on him, and that he understands his school is costly.Continue reading
My son is fabulous.
Liam gesticulates. That’s a big word for “talks with his hands” — and it’s something he got from me. He makes flourishes as he talks with his fingers, draws circles in the air, gestures to things unseen, and emphasizes just about everything he can. He’s knocked his knuckles on doorjambs, knocked over glasses, and even a few times managed to fall out of a chair telling a good story. When he’s excited, his whole body’s excited.
Over the last month, we’ve heard lots of stories from Liam. Of kickball adventures. Of geckos. Of forts in the trees. Of new friends and a nemesis or two. Of funny teachers. Of good times, and bad times. And lots of flourishes.Continue reading
One of the things people often ask me is whether or not I think autism is on the rise. Or if I have any ideas as to how Liam became autistic. Was it the traumatic birth? Was it the Zoloft? Are there other people with autism in the family?
“Why was today so rough, buddy?”
He’s sprawled out in bed, shirtless as usual. I scratch and rub his back and massage his scalp. It’s one of the few things he will almost always ask nicely for and not demand outright.
Sometimes I feel like Liam takes up at least 90% of my brain function. The rest is reserved for the rudimentary necessities of life — the lizard brain, as it were — and just enough to get by at work (forget creative endeavors lately… that’s a hoot). I worry about him ceaselessly, and it doesn’t help that mainstream media has a way of playing to those fears with their portrayal of high functioning autistic kids. Even though the last week has been a triumph, it’s also been at the long tail of a rather frenzied few years. And really, there isn’t much of an end in sight.
A lot of people don’t see past Liam’s tow-headed exterior. He throws a tantrum in a store or chatters on endlessly about cars. If it comes up and we mention his ASD diagnosis, they say, “But he’s so outgoing,” or, “He doesn’t act autistic.” Or they just stare when he’s screaming and crying and drooling, raving about some perceived injustice as we drag outside to the car.