Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Martin is convinced that he should be allowed to drive. He tells us he is 16-years-old. He demonstrates how he can reach the car pedals (while lying down on the driver's seat). He claims that someone taught him how to drive. Now, he insists on driving everywhere. Although we don't drive a lot in our family, we do usually once a day. Or at least every other. It's getting a little old.

This story could be cited as an example in Martin's recent progress report from school. Children with IEPS (individualized education plans) receive quarterly updates on the measurable goals listed in the plan. Martin's goals include very specific items such as identifying and correctly using prepositional phrases or answering "W" questions (not questions about George Bush, but questions beginning with who, what, where, and when). The plan also has broader social goals, including natural conversation with other children and ability to do circle time.

Martin's teacher wrote that Martin's social interaction and educational progress is impeded by his need to control situations. He can be so consumed by his desire to be the class's line leader that he can't act normally with the other children. Or he can be so obsessed with putting figurines in a particular order that he can't use them for a math lesson with the teacher. Hence, his desire to drive and his desire for me not to drive, and his efforts to keep his sister from touching her toes. He just wants to be in control. It makes him feel better.

I'm now thinking that Martin doesn't have this need because he's autistic, but because he's related to me.


  1. Self realization is important Jen...LOL.

  2. Don't you hate it when you realize it might be about you?

  3. I consistently dream that I know how to drive stick-shift (I don't in reality) and wake up convinced that if I got in the car RIGHT AWAY I could do it. So fresh and accurate is my knowledge. I also speak fluent Russian semi-regularly in my dreams. I share this to suggest that perhaps Martin and I have a unique ability to connect with skills at which we were proficient in past lives or something?? Or we're just quirky. Shoot. That seems more likely. :)

  4. I am the absolute best soccer player in the world... when I'm on the sideline. I see it, I understand it, I can picture myself doing it... so I should be able to do it, right? MBS

  5. Janelle, I dream up new sections of the books I'm reading. sometimes, I'm unsure if what I remember of a book is actually from the text or the new stuff about the characters that I dreamed about.