My Favorite Blog

I had an interesting moment of reflection after talking to my son last night. It was a simple thing, really, but it struck me. Kyle, who just turned fourteen, was playing his vintage “Super Nintendo” System (remember those?) and I stopped to watch him for a while. He has quite a large collection of games, and always wants new ones for his birthday and Christmas. (I have to buy them from special game stores or order them from e-bay.) After several minutes of watching him play, I asked, “Kyle, which of all these games is your favorite?” He thought for … Continue reading

Hyperlexia: Autism with a Twist?

I’m still trying to decide whether I think that “hyperlexia” is really just autism with a remarkable (savant) reading ability, or whether it is truly a stand-alone condition, as some people insist. You be the judge. What is hyperlexia? Hyperlexics are said to almost always be boys, and their ability to spell, read, and pronounce words is markedly advanced for their age. Usually these kids have easily mastered letters and numbers by the age of two, and by three can read many words. They seem to have a far greater capacity for reading than for spontaneous speech. They may eventually … Continue reading

What is Transition Planning?

I can still remember quite clearly the way I felt as a fourteen-year-old when I first walked the grounds of my new high school. It was overwhelming. The school seemed twice as large as my previous one, and I couldn’t quite make sense of the map of the campus. I was excited, nervous, and intimidated. I knew this was an important transition I needed to make, yet I was uncertain about my ability to succeed in this new, big place. Next year, my son Kyle will be starting high school. This means that soon he will be making an important … Continue reading

Echolalia: Repeat After Me

About seventy-five percent of children on the autism spectrum use echolalia in some form. Echolalia is the tendency to repeat back, or “echo” what someone else has said. It’s also sometimes referred to as “parroting,” because of the way that parrots mimic human speech. For some time it was thought that this echoing of speech by children on the spectrum was completely nonsensical. But we’ve now determined that there usually is the intent to communicate, but the delivery gets confused along the way. Immediate Echolalia There are two types of echolalia: immediate and delayed. With immediate echolalia, the child will … Continue reading

A Couple of Wise Guys…

My two oldest sons are quite a pair. They have an affectionate, hilarious bond, as brothers. Garrett (in sunglasses) is fifteen, a straight A student, and extremely bright. He’s one of those kids that can smooth talk his way out of most anything. I don’t often see him doing much homework, yet he pulls off sensational grades. Tests and quizzes come easily for him. He’s an aspiring musician, and the house is usually filled with the rollicking sounds of his piano tunes in the living room or his voice singing through the closed door of his bedroom. Garrett has juvenile … Continue reading