We’re still living well in Autismland: Most of Charlie’s days (most of Charlie’s moments) have been peaceful easy feeling and this blog has come to seem an online chronicle of how we got here, from there—-from days of behavior squalls, anger, earthquakes. The days have become rather straightforward: Jim puts Charlie on the bus; Charlie has full school days working at his reading and counting and (recently) learning to type and (also recently) doing yoga in Adaptive P.E.; Charlie runs off the bus; he does ABA; we go for a walk to train, practice piano, a car trip to the store or the library or (as yesterday) Target; there’s dinner, shower, looking at photos and listening to music together—all interlaced with small conversations about shapes, old toys (Farm Families in particular), therapists and their cars.
Today is a little different as Charlie has the day off for Good Friday; he is talking and playing games with his ABA therapist right now. He has been working on saying “piano” clearly (he tends to slur the first two vowels together) and I just heard him say it: “Piano.” He makes “special guest appearances” regularly at Autism Vox—you can find some of them if you click on the Teaching Strategies page or go to the Charlisms category.
I’m making a “special guest appearance” here as, in addition to all the good things Charlie has been doing, I’ve something to write about: Autismland has won 2 blog awards. Back in early March, Dick at The Life That Chose Me awarded me a Thinking Blogger Award. The award came right at the time that I had stopped posting at Autismland and I have been meaning to name 5 other bloggers who make me think—and they are:
- Whitterer on Autism. Ex-pat McEwen is raising three children (including 2 boys with autism) in Silicon Valley and writes of madcap moments in every corner of the house and sometimes “outside”—at the garden store—with some furry creatures—-with occasional mentions of her own childhood memories in the UK, a few dental adventures, and wry wisdom.
- Life in the New Republic. Lisa-Jedi’s son has Asperger’s and is learning Japanese, is mainstreamed in school, just got braces, knows his way with the computer—-while he and Charlie might seem very different as far as their skills, Lisa and I note more similarities than differences in our kids, wherever they are on the autism spectrum.
- Thanks to my “blog mentor,” Hsien Hsien Lei, I discovered Science Blogs and now check many of these regularly. I have not studied science since my first year of college: Understanding genetics, neuroscience, cognitive science, mathematics, and a lot more is not easy for this autism mother/literary critic/classics professor: As ever, my efforts to do my best by Charlie by learning about autism have impelled me to expand my horizons. (Once upon a long time ago, I did want to become a medical doctor…….)
- Eating With Your Anorexic. Laura Collins is a mom-activist who sees to dispel the myths associated with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders. ED’s are brain disorders and Laura writes with spirit and passion about many issues that are familiar to parents of autistic children: genetics, treatment, dealing with doctors, “cause,” and more. Back in December, Laura noted that Autism Vox is “a blog that isn’t about eating disorders but you wish it was.”
- Autism’s Edges. Mothers Vox writes about life, love, and learning with her daughter, Sweet M, in posts that fuse cultural critique, M’s artwork and words, and reflections on “the diagnosis.” On April 19th at 8 p.m. at The Old Stone House at Fifth Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets, MothersVox and I will be reading together for Brooklyn Reading Works.
I also must mention Processing in Parts, “an autistic perspective on life, rights, happiness, employment, and other aspects of existence” by Zilari; she has taken an “indefinite hiatus” from Processing in Parts and has left it as an archive—-and I thank her. Zilari’s observation on language, sensory processing, disability rights, and her own memories growing up autistic have taught me much.
And, this morning I found out that Autismland was named one of the Mother’s Day Central Top 100 Mom Blogs in the “health conditions” category.
And, as of yesterday, visitors to Autismland number over 100,000.
Thanks for reading! The story continues, and my account of it is now wound into the more topically-oriented posts of Autism Vox—-thanks for walking with us on this Autismland journey.