Thursday, March 20, 2008


Voglio dare il benvenuto a due gente chi sono divenuti membri del Autism Hub recentemente (anche se io non sono un membro). Sono già qualche mesi che leggo il loro blog e sono molto contento di sapere che ci saranno ancora più gente chi avranno il piacere di conoscerli ed il loro bambino. È anche una cosa meravigliosa che la comunità autistica sta cominciando a funzionare come una vera comunità internazionale. Benvenuti e grazie.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Milestones, they're not where you think

With a strange real-world/blogosphere synchronicity MK passed two milestones today, which boring NT textbooks would no doubt have spaced chapters apart.

I mention synchronicity because Marla had been talking about shoe tying skills. I got the impression that Marla thought ten was an advanced age to be learning to tie shoes. But it's one year earlier than the age at which MK started to make a serious effort in that direction. He got it, after a few weeks of practice on a thick shoelace tied to the fridge handle and another week or so of practice on shoe that had been placed on the kitchen table. He got it well enough, that is, that with a bit of coaching and the occasional parental finger to hold things in place, he could swing it (some post-tying tightening required at times). He rarely wears shoes with laces, so it wasn't much of an issue. Today marked a milestone because, waiting for the bus, I noticed the laced shoes he was wearing (because it was raining, which also explains why we were not on our bikes) were undone. I pointed it out to him and he tied them up. Completely unaided. Without so much as single verbal prompt.

The other milestone was opening a bank account. That's where we were taking the bus to. The timing of the bank account ties in with another milestone. Later this week, MK will be taking a five-hour plane trip to visit his grandmother, all by himself. This way he'll have a bank card to use if he does any shopping. He is totally ready for the trip, and totally ready to start managing a bank account (from now on, allowance will be by direct deposit). He is a boy with his head screwed on the right way. He is responsible, methodical, cautious and considerate. So I have much less apprehension in sending him off by himself, at age 12, than many parents whose kids tied their shoes at age five might have.

Actually, today there was another milestone of sorts. MK was given his first batch of French verbs to conjugate for homework. I was expecting a disaster, but he just sat down and did them. He didn't want or need any help from me, and he got them all right. That is particularly remarkable, as MK has yet to master English verb conjugation.

You are always hearing how things have to be sequential. How once skill builds on another. That may be so for some kids, but other kids have a more interesting approach to skills acquisition. Their lucky parents never know when they will have the sudden pleasure of watching them pass a milestone.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Winter Blues

It must be the end of winter or something, because everyone seems to be having their fair share of woe. My wife and I were talking today about MK's recent bouts of nervousness and his complaints about school.

I told her, "Don't worry, all my blogger-parent acquaintances are going through the same thing, so it can't be anything special that's happening to us." Though there have been some upbeat posts and some victories reported, Marla and Maizie,