A Written Conversation – Autism

Yesterday afternoon, Emma said, “These kids do not want to eat bugs.”  Then she squinted her eyes and laughed, making her shoulders shake up and down.  It was a creative version of some of the work we’ve been doing during her literacy program.  We’ve been working on sentences such as – These are kids, they want to rest.  They are resting.  Or  This is a plane.  It can fly, but someone has to make it fly.

“That’s funny, Em.  Let’s type that.”  I pulled the computer forward and gestured toward it.

Em sat down and muttered, “Shift,” as she pressed the shift key with her right index finger while simultaneously pressing the “t” on the keyboard.  She then went on to type the sentence, only needing help with remembering to include the word “do”.  I then typed back a nonsense question – “Do they want to eat birds?”

Emma giggled and shook her head no.

I pushed the computer toward her.  “Type,” I said.

“No, they do not want to eat birds,” she wrote, being sure she made an upper case “n” for the start of the sentence.

“What do they want to eat?”  I typed.

Emma looked at me.  I shook my head, putting a finger to my lips and pushed the keyboard toward her.

Very slowly she typed, “They want to eat co”.  She smiled at me.  “Cookies,” she whispered.  “I need help.  Mommy hold hand.”

Cookies is not a word we’ve covered yet, so I held her hand and helped her type – cookies.

My typed conversation with Emma

For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to:  Emma’s Hope Book.com

3 responses to “A Written Conversation – Autism

  1. That is fantastic. How exciting, to be able to see Emma expressin herself!

    • It really is. I remember you said your Ros is able to communicate pretty well through typing, but that Liam doesn’t. Are you using any particular program for either of them. Anything that’s worked? Also, I’m curious to know whether you’ve found either of your children are able to express themselves better in writing than with language. I keep hoping Emma will tell me some profound “truth” about herself or her innermost thoughts, but so far that hasn’t happened. I read books, other memoirs by parents, such as the last one just out – I’m in here – about Elizabeth who is nonverbal but writes these poignant poems and says incredibly complex things about herself and her existence, I keep hoping Emma will do that too one day. Have you seen any of that with yours?
      By the way, Liz, really appreciate your comments and kind words.

  2. Its more the other way round- Liam can express himself through writing. He definitely seems to understnnd things more when you write it down for him. He did something the other day went into our room and got the i phone to play with when I had told him he had to wait until 10 am the next morning. He is constantly in our room messing with things. He also left the door open and so Roslyn found some chocolates tucked awy and ate some(she is on a gluten dairy free diet). I was upset at Liam and wrote down what had happened. He started to cry when he read the story ( which made me feel terrible) as it said he had done the wrong thing and couldn’t play with the i phone for a day. Later he wanted the iphone again. When I showed him the story he ripped it up and threw it in the bin(I guess he thought that solved the problem) He has since had to earn 5 stars to use the phone! Roslyn now uses proloquo2go on the ipad and she is saying the words as well. Her language seems to be progressing now just by having access to this app and is saying more words quite clearly without the app as well.
    Liam is interested in trains and train stations and train routes so basically that is what he loves to talk and write about the most! I can’t imagine him writing things about his feelings. He does have the most beautiful singing voice and perfect pitch- but mostly won’t sing unless he wants to- so won’t sing at school for the most part.
    I think there is so much going on inside Roslyn and that she is very frustrated at not being able to express herself. She self harms when upset.
    I really enjoy checking in to read your blog and hear about your children’s progress Ariane. You write so beautifully.

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