Profound. Poetic. Always unexpected. When Emma writes (in this case she was typing), she is able to express herself in a way that she isn’t able to with speech yet. But what she has to say is always (to me at least) profound, poetic and unexpected.
Take that above line for example. As she slowly typed, letter by letter and got to this point: “Music is star…” I wondered, where is she going with this? And no matter how many times I witness her write, I never cease to marvel at what she ends up saying.
It’s Richard here. Ariane has been traveling for the last two weeks doing her Holiday Trunk Show in Chicago and for the last day today in Aspen. She hates it. She is an incredibly talented, award-winning jewelry designer. Just take a look here and see for yourself. She began designing jewelry after some prodding from me because she had become so obsessed with autism and (many years ago) with finding a cure, that she was stressed out to the snapping point.
Ariane went to school for fashion design with a bunch of today’s top name luxury designers–an exclusive class at an exclusive school. But she hated the fashion world. I suggested that she channel all that talent and creativity in a different direction, so she wasn’t spending every waking moment of her life reading books about autism and searching the Internet for the latest studies and therapies and anything else under the sun she could discover about autism. That inexhaustible search led her to discover the blogs of autistic adults, films like Wretches and Jabberers, Supported Typing, Soma’s RPM, the Intense World Theory, and a hundred other things that have completely transformed our family in the most wonderful way possible. And by sharing her/our journey on this blog, I believe she is making the world a better place, day by day.
Ariane would never make such claims about herself. I’m happy to. She invited me to write a guest blog today while she is doing her trunk show. I’m certain she thought it would be all about Emma, but “heh heh” as Ibby would say.
If Ariane had a partner that handled the business side and left her free to simply design jewelry, she’d probably still be having fun with it. But these trunk shows are definitely a drag. I know for certain that she would much rather spend the day writing a blog post, replying to comments, working on one of the books she’s writing about her/our journey, reading more books and articles, chatting with her friends, getting a manicure–basically anything other than sitting around in a hotel room, waiting/hoping for people to stop in and buy some of her amazing designs so she doesn’t hate being there even more. So if you’re in Aspen, stop in and say “hi!” Oh, and bring your wallet. If you’re not in Aspen and love jewelry, or just love Ariane, send her a note, or a message or call, or Skype–or buy some jewelry after browsing on her website. She would never say such things here, or anywhere but once again “heh heh.” I, for better or worse, am and shall always be: The King of Bluntness.
Now, after that shameless plug, let me talk about the session I had with Emma and “B”, who helps with Emma’s written communication, using Soma’s RPM method. Yesterday was a milestone because Emma used a keyboard throughout the entire 45 minute session, instead of the stencil board or letter board she usually uses. This was clearly a stressful adjustment for Emma, but she soldiered on bravely, and as usual, wrote some amazing things. Profound. Poetic. Always unexpected.
Rather than editorialize, I’m going to relate the entire session, using B: and E: for Emma. Some of B’s statements are paraphrased. All of Emma’s responses are exactly what she wrote, because the keyboard was connected to an iPad and it was all recorded.
B: What history topics are you interested in?
E: music, history, country, the world, the playground
B: Tell me something about music.
E: Music is stars for your ears.
B: (B gives a lesson about the origin of blues music with slavery) What kind of music are we talking about?
B: Tell me something about our country in the 19th century as opposed to the 20th century.
E: there were slaves
B: What can you say about freedom?
E: less freedom when you are someones slave.
B: What do you think singing (the blues) did for them (slaves)?
E: how about it helped the crops grow.
(There was an interesting blurt Emma did here: “You left him there to die!” from her favorite movie Two-Headed Shark Attack. It speaks to me of injustice, self-interest and the horrifying results)
B and Emma then did some “Call and Response” blues-style singing together.
B: What would you say about that?
E: when you call your friend they should not ignore you.
B: Can you come up with a call and response song?
E: I like to eat cake
the sweet is so nice
They sang these verses together a few times (ultra-sweet!).
B: Where in the country does the blues come from?
B: Do you have something to say about this?
E: there is fun music in the north also.
B: (B plays a video of BB King singing “Stormy Monday”) What do you think about that?
E: stormy tuesday it was. (the previous day was Tuesday and it was stormy).
B: (B tells a story about a teenage boy who was lost and later found by a homeless man who called the police and contacted his mother. The mom was very grateful and rewarded him.)
B: What did I say about the man?
B: The mom was grateful. Why?
E: he found the son.
B: Years later there was a news article about the man whose name was Leo. Another man named Patrick used to pass Leo every day on the way to work. They began chatting. One day Patrick gave Leo an offer and he had two choices:
2. A laptop, lessons everyday for an hour in computer coding.
(Leo took door #2, and in the article Leo coded an app later.)
B: What was one of the options?
B: What do you think about the story of Leo getting lessons and coding the app?
E: he needed to get rewarded.
B: Any message for the world about anything?
E: hearing my response to your call is like being at a fun amusement park.
And being present for all of this was like being in a fun amusement park too.
“Music is Stars for the Ears.”
Yes, it certainly is Emma. It certainly is.
Happy holidays to all! See you Saturday Ariane. Emma and Nic are counting the days and so am I!