Tag Archives: autism

Early Intervention

The wind blows through the windows
of the bus ruffling a student’s long hair.

She says, “I know how messed up
my hair is by looking at your face.”

What they don’t know is how long
it took for her to read facial expressions.

The wind brushes a tangle of curls
over the student’s eyes.

She says, “I know you’re laughing
because you think it’s funny.”

What they don’t know is how long
it took for her to learn what a joke is.

The wind stops when the bus stops.
She says, “I wish I had a comb.”

The mom beside me says, “You won’t believe
she was the quietest on the field trip.”

What I don’t say is, “You won’t believe
she’s been diagnosed with Asperger’s.”

With 1 in 88 children now diagnosed with either Asperger’s syndrome or Autism, the need for knowledge, research, and early intervention has never been more urgent.

For more information on Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism and what you can do to help, please visit Autism Speaks.

Change the World

It's a Circle

I don’t often talk about what inspires me. It’s difficult to share something so personal. I always assume it’s irrelevant to others. But sometimes it’s necessary to understand how something comes about, especially when it surprises you.

During the Thursday night Art Faire, several people came by my booth and looked through my cards. I can predict the perennial favorites: ocean scenes and flowers. What surprised me tonight was the interest in my avant garde piece. A blue spiral. Beneath the spiral, it read, “A single sentence can change the world…” and inside it read, “Thank you for changing my world.”

The card was inspired by my autistic son. For years he never spoke. Then, one day, out of blue, he said, “It’s a circle.” It’s one of the few sentences he can say on his own without prompting. Although I hear the sentence as frequently as a Top 10 song on the radio, each time Gabriel says it, the sentence sounds miraculously new. It literally changes my world.

When I was trying to think of new greeting cards to paint, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking, “It’s a circle.” I padded into the kitchen and turned on the light and wrote: It’s a circle. I drew a spiral above it. In the morning, I got out the scrap of paper and wrote on a new greeting card, “A single sentence can change the world…” I painted the spiral above it. Then inside the card, I wrote as a tribute to my son, “Thank you for changing my world.”

Simple, sweet, and heartfelt. I just didn’t know it would mean anything to anyone else.

On the back of the card, instead of signing my name, I wrote, “Second Thoughts Buddha.” I had been reading a lot of Buddhist literature, weaving it into the Christianity I already followed, getting back to the other half of my life which I had never really known. Of course, because I wrote the second sentence I thought of and not the first, it seemed only natural to write Second Thoughts Buddha instead of First Thoughts Buddha. The first thought was my son’s sentence, “It’s a circle.” My second thought was, “ A single sentence can change the world.”

My son has changed my world. With his single sentence. May someone somewhere change yours.