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Friday, August 6, 2010


I startled Janey last night. It was interesting---I don't think I've ever startled her before. She doesn't startle easily---she gets scared, but sudden unexpected things don't usually faze her. But she had fallen asleep maybe 15 minutes before I walked in the room and put on the computer. She jumped right up and started screaming and crying. She said "I scared you! I scared you!", reversing the pronouns as she usually does. I went over and held her and talked to her, and she started saying "I'm a scarecrow! A SCARECROW!" I realized she had watched an episode of Bob the Builder, and I think there's a scarecrow-like weird pumpkin head guy on that. Maybe she was having a nightmare, or she just thought scarecrow meant a scared person, or who knows what. I said "Scarecrows aren't to scare people. They are just to scare birds." Then she did the most unusual thing. She leaned in very close to me and said in a very low voice, in a tone I've only heard her ever use once or twice, what I would call a "normal" tone, a tone that sounded non-autistic, "Really?" It sent shivers down my spine. It's moments like that which can make people think somehow there is a "normal" kid inside every autistic kid---little moments of, I don't know what, clarity, or coincidental perfect timing, or something. I can't explain just how the tone was---it was just very, very different than usual, and had the body language along with it---the way she was asking was like "You can give it to me straight here. I want the truth" And then it was over, and I don't want to make that much of it. Mostly she's been pretty much as usual. Fairly happy most of the time. We've been home and I've been letting her do a lot of what she likes to do, and trying to do my own modified "floor time" about 4 or 5 times a day, just gathering a bag of toys she might like and interacted with her as much as she will allow, and trying to sneak in a lot of little bits of knowledge like counting or colors. Which I know you aren't supposed to do with floortime, but I said it was modified. I've been reading to her a lot too---pretty much just nursery rhymes, which I have a large collection of now. She likes to know what to expect to hear next---just the different pictures in the different books is enough surprise for her.

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