Tag Archives: stories

Henry & Emma’s Story

Yesterday Emma and I spent time with our friends Lauri and her son Henry.   Lauri has a wonderful blog, Ollibean, which is a model of  inclusion and what that really means.  Recent posts include Judy Endow’s How to Figure Out if an Autistic Needs Fixing, Amy Sequenzia’s Walk in my Shoes, and Henry Frost’s All the People Saw my Intelligence.

About a year and a half ago I interviewed Henry regarding his wish to be allowed to go to his local school.  Because Henry cannot speak and is Autistic, he was denied that right.  That interview was published on The Huffington Post ‘here‘.  And a follow-up post ‘here‘ because the piece went viral.  I also wrote about staying with Lauri and her family last spring ‘here‘, which was also when Emma and Henry became friends.

Henry and Emma wrote this story together, taking turns writing a sentence by pointing to letters on an alphabet board.  Henry is “H” and Emma is “E”.  (I know … that’s probably pretty obvious…)  Afterwards Henry and Emma gave me permission to publish their story here.

H:  Once a man went to the king.

E:  He had a complaint against his horse.

H:  His horse would not carry him any more.

E:  His horse wanted five dollars each ride.

H:  The king asked him to sell the horse.

E:  The horse said it is not a slave.

H:  The king asked the horse its price.

E:  The horse said it needs a million dollars.

H:  Finally the king gave two options to the horse.

E:  First was – fight a lion.

H:  Second is –  serve this man.

E:  Choose between the two.

H:  Question is – what will he choose?

E:  The End

Henry & Emma ~ January 30, 2014

Henry & Emma ~ January 30, 2014

Silence and the Words That Fill it

Emma has been writing stories to give as Christmas presents to a couple of special people in her life.  It is an exhausting process for her and one that takes a great deal of time.  As the person who is witnessing and encouraging her to keep going, it is always revelatory.  Her gift to me is her ongoing commitment to keep showing up for the hard work that is required of her to communicate in ways most people consider most important, with words.   However as I sit with her I am increasingly aware of how much, those of us who are talkers, often miss.   Because of my daughter, I have a heightened appreciation for the beauty of silence words seek to fill.

I cannot quote anything from the amazing stories Emma has written for family members, as they are gifts to be given tonight and tomorrow.  But I can quote this, which Em wrote in response to my question – “Tell me one thing about Christmas?”

Emma wrote, “Christmas means love and family.”  (This, from an eleven year old.)

There is nothing more to say.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate and for everyone else, may you experience love and family, in whatever way those words may mean for you this holiday season.

A Tale: “Horses Will Never Fly”

This tale was written by Emma and she has generously agreed to allow me to share it here with all of you.  She will finish it at a later date since she was too tired to do so now.

“Horses Will Never Fly ~ By Emma

Long ago horses were mean animals.  If anyone tried to go near, they charged at them.  They had big wings and flew higher than eagles.

One day they flew around and caused so much wind that the dust began to fly.  Dust and sand covered big areas of earth, making deserts.  People and trees were buried below the dust.

Finally when they rested they saw their wings had begun to shed…”

Originally Emma ended this with “They stopped flying.  Horses will never fly.  The end.”  But once we returned to our hotel and discussed it more, Em said it wasn’t quite finished and promised to finish it later when she wasn’t so tired.  In addition, I added the punctuation with Emma’s approval.  As there is no way to punctuate from a stencil board it must be done afterwards.

These sessions are exhausting and she works so hard.   Her story reminded me of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories that I loved as a child.  I cannot wait to read what Emma writes next!

Emma chose this image to accompany her tale from a search for “winged horses.”  It was attributed to redorbit.com

images

A Story About The Lady at the Zoo

Emma was confounded yesterday when she was told by one of the Central Park Zoo employees that she could not sit on the railing to watch the sea lions being fed.  She was very upset and wanted to go home.  However, instead of biting herself or doing herself injury, she came up with the following story, which is yet another example of her delightful temperament, personality and a wonderful display of the progress she is making in being able to turn something upsetting into a story that was both poignant and very funny.

Before we got on the subway, Emma verbally preseverated in her attempt to work through what had happened.  “Mommy says no.  Mommy go home, Emma stay at the zoo with just Daddy.”   Emma reasoned immediately after leaving the zoo.

“But Em.  This isn’t about Mommy or Daddy, this is about the zoo employees.  This is their rule now.  They won’t let anyone sit on the railing any more.  It’s a new rule,” We told her.

“I want to sit on the railing!”  Emma wailed over and over again as we made our way to the subway.  “You have to ask Daddy!  Daddy! I want to sit on the railing please!”

“Emmy, this isn’t up to me.  This is a rule that the zoo has.  You can’t sit on the railing.”

“But I want to sit on the railing!”  Emma cried.  Then Emma flung both arms around me and buried her head into my side.  “I know, I know.  You’re so upset,” Emma said, mimicking words I often say to her.

“Oh, Em.  I know you’re sad.  I know how hard this is for you.  But I’m also really proud of you for the way you’re handling this and talking about it.”

When her beloved R train arrived Emma secured seats for us by the window and then told the following story.

“The lady said, You have to get off the railing!  You have to get down!  Yeah,” Emma nodded her head and frowned.  Then she said,  while stomping her foot on the floor of the subway, “The lady stomped her food and said, You.  Stomp.  Have.  Stomp.  To.  Stomp. Get.  Stomp.  Down!  Stomp.  You get down right now!  Then the lady said, I’m going to get you!  I’m going to tickle you!”  Emma demonstrated being tickled.  She stomped her foot and continued.  “Yeah.  The lady is going to tickle you.  Then the lady had to go home.  She hurt her back.  Bye!  Bye, bye lady.  Lady gotta go home!  Bye!”  Emma waved her hand, like a Queen waving to her adoring subjects.  “The lady had to go.”  Emma nodded her head and feigned looking sad.  “The lady went home and Emma got up on the railing to watch the seal show!  She had to go home because she hurt her back and she has to put on a bandaid.  Now it’ll feel better.”  Emma finished and looking triumphant said, “Emma got to sit on the railing!”

“Wow, Em.  I love that story!”  I said.  “How did the lady hurt her back?”

“She tickled you!”  Emma said and then collapsed into giggles.

Earlier in the day, playing on the High Line

To read my latest piece, Emma’s New Shoes, in the Huffington Post, click ‘here

And if you haven’t already done so, do vote for Emma’s Hope Book by clicking this ‘link‘ and clicking on the “like” button opposite Emma’s Hope Book.