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8 months ago

978-1572305441

autism

A Stephen Mind Apart

A Stephen Mind Apart Chapter 1 Stephen The Eccentric Entomologist I sit and watch Stephen play in the afternoon sun outside my window. He is nine years old. I have not seen him for some time, and I’m surprised at how much he’s grown. It’s a warm day in December, but it feels more like spring as an early snowfall melts on the lawn. I work at an old hospital that used to be a tuberculosis sanatorium, and the maintenance staff are putting up the Christmas lights on a very tall pine tree, as they have done every December for many years. Stephen runs around the path in circles, paying no attention to the lights going up. His mother keeps a slightly anxious eye on him, as do the gentlemen working on the tree. When it’s time for me to greet him, he clumps up the stairs, too heavily for so slight a boy. He announces in a loud voice, “I catch wasps!” “Do you?” I reply, feeling rather taken aback. “That must be dangerous.” But he does not answer. He has a messy crop of blonde hair as well as lots of freckles, and he darts around my office almost like a bird, checking out the toys, the books, and the papers on my crowded desk. He casts an anxious eye back at me and says, “I don’t want to grow up!” I nod sympathetically and try to inquire why, but again he does not answer. He would rather talk about wasps, which are his passion. He tells me all about the different kinds of wasps that exist in the world, how he has them encased in epoxy at home and how mad they get when he captures them. 1

2 A MIND APART “Why do you like wasps so much?” I ask. ”I like the sound they make and how their legs hang when they fly.” How their legs hang? I have never noticed the legs of a wasp, when they fly or otherwise. What is there to like about the sound and their legs? * * * What indeed? This book is about people with autism, Asperger syndrome (AS), and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS), three common and important forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is about the sound wasps make and how their legs hang in the air when they fly. Children and adults with ASD have behaviors that professionals characterize as obsessions, preoccupations, rituals, resistance to change, and self-stimulation. But instead parents might see a young boy with an excessive fascination with wasps, a child who insists on keeping all the doors on the second floor of her house open (even the one to her parents’ bedroom), or a boy who gets terribly upset if the blanket on his bed is changed or the wrong cup is placed by his plate at breakfast. People with these types of disorder also typically have trouble communicating with adults and children and experience difficulties with relationships in general. In conversation, they may go off on tangents, ask the same question over and over again, even if they know the answer, or talk only about wasps or their particular, often rather eccentric, passion. Parents and other family members know that these are the often debilitating symptoms of a terrible disorder that strikes at the heart of childhood. A thousand times every day, parents feel as if they will never understand what goes on in the mind of their child, that they will never find a common ground with other people who do not have a child with one of these disorders. The simple task of shopping for groceries can become a nightmare as perfect strangers stare at them and pass judgment on their parenting skills. In this book, I hope to convey to parents and professionals another context: how the world is perceived by children with ASD. In turn, I hope this will change our perception of the children themselves. Behaviors like Stephen’s can also be seen as passions that teach us about the world and how it looks and sounds. By unraveling one mystery, I hope to reveal another, more fundamental, one. And that is that children and

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  • Page 7 and 8: vi Contents Bibliography 189 Resour
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    52 A MIND APART orized the dates of

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    54 A MIND APART ter, and grotesque

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    56 A MIND APART The relationship be

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    60 A MIND APART The main reason for

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    62 A MIND APART language or visual-

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    64 A MIND APART simply too varied t

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    66 A MIND APART For the most part,

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    68 A MIND APART eyes and so does no

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    70 A MIND APART the records of) as

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    72 A MIND APART grandmother’s hou

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    74 A MIND APART ture. She ran a suc

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    76 A MIND APART iorally based appro

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    78 A MIND APART and communication s

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    82 A MIND APART ples of impairments

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    84 A MIND APART years of age. Once

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    86 A MIND APART generalize that bey

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    88 A MIND APART problems. Metaphors

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    90 A MIND APART iety only increased

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    92 A MIND APART on my part, I under

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    94 A MIND APART about subways here

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    A Teddy Mind Apart Chapter 7 Teddy

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    98 A MIND APART Woodview Manor is m

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    100 A MIND APART Santa’s knee. We

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    102 A MIND APART of human relations

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    104 A MIND APART in the face of ove

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    106 A MIND APART ment but still dem

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    108 A MIND APART I managed to conta

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    110 A MIND APART When she first not

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    112 A MIND APART pairment and impro

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    A Sally, Mind Ann, Apart and Danny

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    116 A MIND APART parents or grandpa

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    118 A MIND APART this Website, thes

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    120 A MIND APART I ask Joan and Dav

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    122 A MIND APART ders). If there we

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    124 A MIND APART but it’s likely

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    126 A MIND APART the appearance of

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    128 A MIND APART disorder, a very p

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    130 A MIND APART to unravel these m

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    132 A MIND APART may continue to se

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    134 A MIND APART come to the appoin

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    136 A MIND APART gies. Yet she felt

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    138 A MIND APART more sensitive to

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    140 A MIND APART communication ther

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    142 A MIND APART Neither do we know

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    144 A MIND APART The therapist woul

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    146 A MIND APART would have to awai

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    A Ernest Mind Apart Chapter 10 Erne

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    150 A MIND APART him. But either he

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    152 A MIND APART set that she would

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    154 A MIND APART child with ASD, pa

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    156 A MIND APART stances, become ap

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    158 A MIND APART in class. That wou

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    A Frankie Mind Apart Chapter 11 Fra

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    162 A MIND APART and sailed straigh

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    164 A MIND APART because a child ha

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    166 A MIND APART moting more social

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    168 A MIND APART Harry was original

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    170 A MIND APART the result of the

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    172 A MIND APART He gets such enjoy

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    A Sophie Mind Apart Chapter 12 Soph

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    176 A MIND APART were not particula

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    178 A MIND APART It was at that mom

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    180 A MIND APART and social interac

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    182 A MIND APART She lacked the mot

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    184 A MIND APART ble as well. The p

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    186 A MIND APART smiled at her, not

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    188 A MIND APART In a sense all chi

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    190 Bibliography nal of the America

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    192 Bibliography comparing theory o

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    194 Bibliography tive behavior, and

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    196 Bibliography assisted instructi

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    200 Resources Phone: 219-662-1311 F

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    202 Resources NG7 2UH E-mail: help@

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    Index Index ABA. See Applied behavi

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    206 Index D Developmentally based i

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    208 Index Research in AS and outcom

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