clockwork minds
dog drawing

A Peek Into the Wonderful World of . . .

a teenager with Autism. Some of what you will see is part of an amazing journey. Filled with a flurry of creativness that at times only his mind will understand compleely. At other times you will find some of the most heartfelt and insightful things that you might never expect from someone with Autism. So sit back grab a balloon and enjoy your float through this wonderful world.

lady bugs

Ethan in His Own Words

E1

I have a very colorful train of thought.I've been interested in alot of hobbies and activities, say bowling, model railroading, photography and cartooning. I've had an interest in a wide variety of music except hip hop and rap. I happen to be a good cook, I make my own omletes during breakfast. I love to collect and wear silly and fun hats. I like them so much that I will track them down at flea markets, thrift shops and antique shops. I also have friends who take me for who I am and not as an outsider.

Ethan_05

Goals

Triumphs

Ethan's dad and I have always tried to let Ethan learn things by doing, rather than trying to predict for him how situations would play out. We knew early on that Aspergers would challenge Ethan most acutely in the area of day to day communications, feelings and human interplay neuro-typical people take for granted. The biggest challenge that I can think all three of us had to face was the late spring evening Ethan got jumped.

Ethan walked around the corner to meet the Mr. Softee truck. He got his soft serve and on his way back to our house, a boy he knew from his bus confronted Ethan. The boy pushed him, punched his face, knocked his glasses to the ground and took his wallet. Ethan eventually got the money back from an accomplice who had stood by watching the attack, but something deeper was taken from Ethan. The trust and safety he felt in his own neck of the woods.

The real test we all faced in the aftermath was dealing with the emotional and very human response Ethan, his dad and I had from the attack. For Ethan and his dad, the natural testosterone driven desire for revenge had to be worked through. For me, the mama bear wish to protect, yet sooth it all away was fierce. How to teach a young man who is coming to grips with a very real emotions to temper them in the face of violence perpetrated upon himself? How do we acknowledge the anger but temper the need for revenge? And since the attacker was also a youth with special needs, how did we tap into compassion for the perpetrator when Ethan was clearly the one wronged?

We got the authorities involved, which helped Ethan realize that the system is meant to fairly help all those in the altercation. The boys in Ethan's scout troop rallied around him, offering support and camaraderie in the wake of the incident, which connected him more deeply with peers who have always accepted him as he was. And hid father and were able to learn from each other the importance of both unpacking the pain and anger from the attack and coming to a point of being able to put it aside. Working toward acceptance if not outright forgiveness.

Ethan in the wild

From the mind of Ethan