Susan's Blog

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Sea Change

One of my missions these days is to help people understand that communication comes in all, shapes, sizes, and sounds.  It is the verbal people with autism who taught me this.  They are known as Aspies or those with High Functioning Autism, but I know them as inspirations.  Amanda, Ivan, Christchurch, Diva, and so many others have taught me that just as Nat can learn, so can I.  Here is my latest piece, from the Boston Globe Magazine, about Nat, son and my number one muse.


Dear Susan,

Your articles and blog often hit a chord for me – a mom with a 22 year old young woman who just happens to carry the diagnosis of autism, among others. The simple word “yes” – one that I craved for so many years from my beautiful girl comes occasionaly – but beautifully and appropriately more and more frequently. The word “yes” – you understand, you are right – was elusive for so long. Seeing her language develop, slowly in its own way – has given me so much joy. Thank you for writing and sharing and making some aware and others (like me) feel less marginalized. People like our children keep developing post-22, just like we did – of course they do! We need to nurture it and revel in it.

Thanks again – for making me smile – and for helping me realize that this happiness that I feel – when we have a successful haircut or trip to Target or the supermarket.

All the best,

Mary Ellen

— added by Mary Ellen on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Every year we continue to see small (and large) increments of progress. Thanks for reminding me never to stop looking. Beautifully written!

— added by kim mccafferty on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

Thank you for the very insightful, hopeful article Susan! Behaviors and even a single word can be very meaningful. I am wondering if anyone has had experience with augmentative communication devices. My 36 year old son was recently assessed by our university for one, and they believe he can benefit. It may help in community situations where family is not present. We have learned over time when to listen and how to respond, but many others who support him in the community do not have that history.

— added by Jane in Wisconsin on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I loved this article. Normal is definitely over-rated! I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I spent so much of my twins’ early years trying to make them more social (by society’s definition). Now I enjoy their own form of socializing and sharing experiences. My next question is how hard to push the public school to respect them as they are and stop forcing them to act social in the “normal” way.

— added by Alice on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Love this article

— added by Direct Behavioral Services (DBS) on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 11:59 am

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