Saturday, June 28, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Brad adores Jeremy, who in Brad’s eyes can do no wrong. Brad takes cues from Jeremy when they play together, shadowing Jeremy and having a great time doing so. Lately, Brad will walk up to Jeremy and gently (or not so gently – Brad’s getting to be almost as big as Jeremy, and both are at or above the 90th percentiles for height and weight, so you do the math) push Jeremy, or grab his hair, or just tackle him. It’s very clear that Brad means it in a playful way, and does it to interact with Jeremy. Laura said - I think correctly - that it’s Brad acting socially like a kid about a year younger than him would. If you could see it, you’d realize that completely makes sense.
Jeremy loves Brad too, and usually will involve Brad in his play. Clearly Jeremy does not understand Brad’s condition, which is not surprising given that Jeremy is only 4. I figure that kids can begin to grasp the concept of autism around the time they can understand something like death or the value of money – does that sound about right? For now, Jeremy still sees Brad as a “baby”, which is how Jeremy pretty much views all kids who he can tell are younger than he is, and which is probably the way most kids Jeremy’s age would characterize a younger sibling whether on the spectrum or not. When Jeremy gets frustrated with Brad, it’s usually because he wants Brad to do or stop doing something right away, since trying convey a non-basic, time-sensitive message to Brad (like “don’t skip that song on the CD”) rarely meets with success. Usually when this happens, Laura, myself or our nanny (have we discussed her before? She’s beyond amazing BTW, and that might be an understatement) intervenes and we handle the situation. It’s nice that Jeremy is still young enough that he almost never dwells on anything negative; that has got to be one of the best things about kids his age. But I digress.
So as usual, this has led me to wonder about some things. We’ve all heard about how autism can affect parents and marriages, but have there been studies of the effects of having an autistic sibling? Can something like that even be meaningfully, let alone reliably, gauged? Do they tend to be more likely to have behavioral issues than other similarly situated kids who don’t have siblings on the spectrum, or is just the opposite – are they more tolerant and well behaved due to the increased patience they must learn in dealing with their autistic sibling(s)? Does it vary depending on the severity of the sibling’s autism? These questions can segue into the flip side – do autistic children benefit behaviorally from having a non-autistic sibling? How can that be measured? Is the benefit more pronounced when it’s an older sibling, or does that largely not matter?
Just a few more not so burning questions from Brad’s dad. Until next time…..
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I see a pattern:
- The Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX, lead by cult leader David Koresh, famously raided in 1993.
- The Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, TX, lead by FLDS cult leader Warren Jessup, famously raided in April of this year.
- The Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, TX, founded and directed by Andrew Wakefield, known for attempting to "recover" autistic children with biomedical treatment.
Each group is located in TX. The philosophy of each group is tinged with anti-government conspiracy theories. Each is led by a charismatic leader who inspires near blind faith in their respective followers. Is the biomed movement a cult? Draw your own conclusions.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
- Brad is identifying colors consistently.
- He's mastered the shape sorter, although he does it entirely with his left hand.
- We've added 2 more hours per week of OT, bringing his total service hours to 14.5 per week.
- In the last week, his play has become more rigid. Also: he's flapping his arms and toe walking a little.