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978-1572305441

autism

Stephen 3 adults with

Stephen 3 adults with ASD live in a concrete world, palpable and immediate, a world without metaphors. Theirs is a world of detail and of infinite variety. It is a visual world built of images, not language. Feelings, emotions, and personal relationships do not have the same value for them as they do for us and for other, typical, children. It can be terrifying and confusing to live in such a world, and it is true that the opportunities for growth and development are often limiting. But the way these children perceive the world can change and transform the way we see the world and make it a more magical place, full of wonder and variety. Children with ASD can teach us about the infinite variety of sameness, and, in seeing their diversity, we realize that there is a sameness to us all. Once we appreciate this, our attempts to help children with ASD accommodate to our world can be more successful and perhaps accomplished without the loss of their special gifts. * * * Stephen has been interested in wasps for several years. This is not just a passing fancy or a hobby that he finds amusing or that fills in the time between episodes of his favorite TV shows. He is obsessed with wasps, passionate about them. He talks about them all the time, with his teachers, his parents, and grandparents, even with complete strangers. If people show little interest, he chatters on, unaware of the boredom or frustration experienced by his listener. In the summer, he only wants to go to the park or the garden center to chase wasps around the plants and bushes and try to catch them. If, for some reason, his parents cannot take him there, he becomes very upset. Of course it’s difficult for him to have a friend over to play since other children are afraid of wasps and do not want to be stung. Stephen has been bitten several times, but this in no way diminishes his enthusiasm. He catches wasps in a bottle and then releases them in his bedroom and enjoys watching them fly around the room, listening to the sound their legs make as they fly through the air, as I now learn. During winter, when the wasps go into hibernation, he spends hours in his room, poring over his collection of wasps encased in epoxy. At first Stephen’s parents were completely bewildered by his interest in wasps and not a little upset. After all, nine-year-old boys should be interested in sports, in toys that shoot and dart about. How could anybody find wasps enchanting? But now they find Stephen’s interest

4 A MIND APART charming. They too have acquired a detailed knowledge of the wasp’s habits and lifespan. The four of us sit and talk about wasps as if we are all entomologists attending some esoteric conference about the mating habits of the yellow jacket. Stephen’s disability has transformed us all; me for a moment, his parents for a lifetime. In many respects, Stephen’s story is quite typical for a child with autism. His parents first became concerned with his development when he reached age one and was not yet crawling. They also noticed that, compared to his older sister, Stephen was very clingy and could amuse himself for long periods of time by making humming noises. His parents took him to see a pediatrician, and this led to several assessments that finally, at age three, produced a diagnosis of autism. The time between that first visit to the pediatrician and the official diagnosis was very stressful for the family, and they became increasingly alarmed about Stephen’s development. Living without a diagnosis was very difficult. In such circumstances parents tend to blame themselves for their child’s delays in development, and these recriminations become ever more strident, as the time taken to arrive at an answer lengthens. When I saw him at three years, Stephen spoke a few words but used them only occasionally to label objects. More often, he would yell, cry, or protest. He did not compensate for his lack of speech by pointing at things, gesturing, or nodding and shaking his head to indicate “yes” or “no.” Although, for the most part, he seemed to be happy, he would not smile back at his parents when they smiled at him. When his father came home from work, Stephen would not run to the door to greet him but would jump up and down and flap his arms instead. He would not hug or kiss his parents and did not enjoy cuddling. He tolerated being held by them but generally did not reciprocate their affection. He would often run his hands through his mother’s hair and then sniff them. In general, he would not ask his parents to join his play activities and did not direct their attention to toys with which he was playing. If he hurt himself, he would not come for comfort and would not offer comfort to his older sister if he saw that she was crying. He loved to play with balls, though. He would spin them, throw them, bounce them off the ground, and line them up. He liked to carry a globe around with him all the time so that he could look through the hole from one end to the other. He also enjoyed watching water go down the toilet and playing with cars, but only if they went around in circles. He became particularly excited if the antennae wobbled. He also

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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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    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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    172 A MIND APART He gets such enjoy

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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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