Sunday, February 28, 2010

A window to Charlie

About 4 months ago one of Charlie's therapist asked me if I have ever heard of Temple Grandin. At first I thought it was a place, but soon came to realize that Temple Grandin was a person. David (Charlie's Therapist) told me that I should look her up on the net, and that she could possibly help me see a little bit into Charlie's mind. I was at the point of information over load so I told him I would look her up later, and quickly forgot her name. Fast forward to Jan. 2010. I was talking to a dear friend of mine online when she brought up the name Temple Grandin. She told me she was a brilliant woman and that I should look her up. I again, thanked her and promptly forgot about her. I didn't actually look up who she was until a different friend made a post on Face Book about Temple Grandins movie on HBO- So after this third time of hearing the name- I decided to look her up.

Temple Grandin is an Autistic woman who has over come her battle and is a Dr of Animal Science. She gives hope to all people. Autistic or not.

I don't know why I was in such a denial to look her up, but I was. I wasn't ready then to receive all her information at those moments in our life. The beginning of February I bought all her books, and started reading. I know now that if I would have read her books months ago, it would have been overwhelming and I would have missed the point.

I read her first book Emergence: Labeled Austistic First. It was brilliant. It opened my eyes in a way that I don't think anyone else or anything could. She wrote about her life from the first moments she remembers to when she wrote the book. Temple has over come so much, and is so completely brilliant that I am in awe of her.

I am reading two of the books at the same time right now. I am reading Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin, and then A Thorn in My Pocket by Temples mom - Eustacia Cutler. Both books are fantastic.

Whenever I finish a sentence, a paragraph, a page, a book of Temple's it opens my mind to see how Charlie thinks. We could never figure out how to communicate with Charlie. Why he wasn't talking. and when he was talking it was jibberish, but you could tell he thought he was saying the correct words. After reading Temple's books it's so clear. He's just like her. He thinks in pictures. Words mean nothing to him. They confuse him and make it hard for him to communicate. But if you take language out, Charlie is brilliant.

Reading Temple's books has been a window into Charlie. I can look through and see him, but yet I am not quite able to touch him. The window is stuck shut at the moment, but I hope to one day open it and climb through. I hope one day I can hold Charlie and we can communicate with no barriers.

Reading Eustacia's book just instills in me that I am Charlie's mother, and there is no one in this world that can change that. Right now I have to speak for Charlie, stand up for Charlie, and when the need arises, I need to never back down. Charlie relies on me to get him from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. What Charlie doesn't know is I need him more then he will ever know.

Working with Charlie on his speech every day is really starting to take effect. He is starting to talk more and more. It's the little things that make my heart skip a beat. Whenever he signs or says more it's like I am hearing his first word all over again. My heart starts to race and I get excited. My baby is communicating in words to me. This morning as I am sitting here writing this blog, I noticed Charlie was dancing- This is always his cue that he wants music. So my husband goes over to my computer to play Charlie's favorite song. In order to pacify his need at the moment I start sining part of the song. It goes like this "You know I'm a loner and you got that right." and after I finished that sentence Charlie sang "You got that riiiiight!". My heart dropped in my stomach. I couldn't believe what he has just sang. He said it a couple more times, and then it was gone. It's moments of pure clarity that I live for with him.

I think Charlie see's life in music, and his life is a big musical. We just need to find the right theme song :)


  1. Clever boy! I am so proud of him!

  2. Aw! Thank you!! and he is a very clever boy!!

  3. I love reading all your posts! It all resounds so much within our lives here. I can't wait until he is about 4, you will be BLOWN away by what he says. It brings tears to my eyes when E explains things to me. He remembers things all the way to the womb, not kidding. I do believe he is so like Temple in so many ways. Watching it on HBO was amazing, it depicted how she thinks JUST like we have always thought E does. It was awesome. The more vocal he becomes it will really amaze you, and make you more proud than you ever thought you could be of someone. He is a wonderful soul, he has so much to give, right now he is just starting to unravel. It is hard enough for 'normal' kids to get there emotions and thoughts. I can't imagaine what our boys go through when what they feel is so much more intense, doubled with their challenges. They are amazing <3