Thursday, April 22, 2010


First, a quick apology. My goal has been to write this blog daily. Usually, I write at least 5 times a week. But it's the penultimate week of classes. Instead of blogging, I find myself reading articles about Zen meditation cushions and writing lectures on Catholic perspectives on reproduction. I hope to be back to regular posting soon.

Second, Martin is awesome and let me tell you how. For the past two years, we have rarely gone to restaurants. We could never depend on Martin making it through the experience of ordering food, waiting for food, eating the food, and then leaving happily with a full belly. When you come to think of it, restaurants are weird social spaces and it makes sense that autistic kids - who struggle to pick up the variations in daily life - would struggle to understand why one would go to a new place, talk to a stranger, and pay them to give you some food. Every once in awhile, we've tried to take Martin to a restaurant. It has usually ended badly, or least with my husband and I convinced that we won't try that again for another 6 months.

Tonight was different. We decided to go out for the wonderful vegetarian buffet at the local, run-down Chinese restaurant. We made Martin a card that listed the steps for our outing:
1. Order food
2. Play with toys while we wait
3. Eat food
4. Play with toys while family finishes eating
5. Clean up toys
6. Reward of cookies
Martin went through each step and put a sticker on the card when he finished them. When he seemed impatient, we reminded him of the steps and the eventual reward. He made it through. As we walked out the door, Martin chewed on his cookie and waved goodbye to the restaurant owner. He just needed a little extra guidance.

After dinner, we crossed the street to the local botanical gardens. Martin dashed off for the two little waterfalls to toss in rocks and call out to the fish. He told me he'd like to go fishing. I responded that it sounded like a good idea. "I can't right now," he said, "I need a fishing pole and a sailboat." Two years ago, a visit to the same gardens would have involved us asking Martin if he could see the fish and having a 50% chance that he could answer with just a "yes" or "no."

I am buried in a stack of papers it will take me weeks to get through. At least Martin is making progress.


  1. I am one of Martin's top 20 fans! YEAH MARTIN!!!!! I love you so! Just a little over a month to go... :-)

  2. Love to read of the progress and the persistent, patient, hopeful love of Martin's mom and's such an amazing story!!!!