Special Needs

The Silent Vampire Goes Trick Or Treating

As my little six-year-old vampire approaches a stranger’s door, my heart shrinks with worry. How will it go?  I know he can’t yell “trick-or-treat” like he’s expected to, or even whisper it. Will people give candies to a silent little monster with an orange bucket? The British old lady who opens the door exclaims “Ooh! Another one! You’re SO scary!” and spends some time trying to elicit the traditional “trick-or-treat” from him. She’s unsuccessful: he stands there silently, his arms stubbornly

The length of the pause

Figure out the length of the pause. That was my main challenge in the first couple of months. The pause between the moment somebody asked my son a question and the second I began to answer it for him. Wait too long and it could mean risking him unnecessary embarrassment (as well as putting the asker in an awkward position). Respond too soon and it might deny him the possibility to answer for himself, narrowing the chance that at some point I might hear his voice in social situations. One day my

Monsters In His Head

I’m watching Martin’s weekly private swimming lesson from the viewing area of the local pool. A girl of about the same age as him is swimming widths nearby, accompanied by her teacher. There is nothing unusual about the girl, but her presence suddenly disrupts the sense of normal that I’ve gotten used to. Every time she answers her teacher out loud, her voice rings like a bell standing out from the background noises of the pool, and I stare at the source of the sound in sheer amazement. I’m so u

My child is a perfectionist. Here’s how we find balance.

I turn away from the kitchen counter and see a little person, my son, handing me a piece of paper and a pencil. I quickly wipe my hands off on my apron and take the paper and pencil. But then I remember what happened the last time, after a similar request, and try to cop out by telling the little guy that I don’t know how to draw dinosaurs. I have never drawn a Spinosaurus. So I take a deep breath and carefully outline a bear-like creature with a turtle shell on top, hoping he won’t notice. Bu