Monday, September 19, 2011


A number of years ago, somewhere around first grade, Nathan came downstairs and issued me a challenge.  "I'm tougher than you!"  He'd put on a grey sweatshirt and crammed it full of stuffed animals (babies), even down to the wrists.  Those were his muscles.  He then held his arm up in an unsupported arm wrestling position and said "Wrestle!!"  I clasped his hand and looked him right in the eyes as he exclaimed "GO!!"  At that point, I jerked him back and forth as he laughed and did his best to show me who the man was.  When were were done, he yanked out all the "babies" from his shirt and said "Ok dad.  I'm not tougher than you."

I later came to realize that in that brief moment, when I stared into his eyes, we were in the same place, at the same time.  It's the first such memory I have with him.  More would follow, but this was the first.

Autistic kids have been accurately described as "out of sync".  Many times it seems like only their body is bound firmly and permanently to what everyone else sees as "reality".  Their mind seems to skip along our reality, making only brief points of contact, like a stone skipping across the surface of a pond.  Those of us who love and live with them are perpetually working to "synchronize" with them.  We search for common ground in their world.  We expend limitless effort in our attempts to teach them to make their encounters with "our world" longer and more frequent.


  1. What a great memory and a beautiful way to describe it! It seems with children that if you get on their eye level and are open, they will teach you and let you into their world. It such an awesome thing!

  2. Thanks for the kind words Jenn! You're right! I'm honored that you're still reading. Thanks for sticking with me and my writing.