I Write So I Am Alive

A couple of further links for those interested in Naoki Higashida after my last post.

(1) An article in today’s Guardian by David Mitchell: Learning to live with my son’s autism. Although, as always in these articles there are some areas where my view differs a little it’s a powerful piece of writing, with of course many shared moments. This is something fairly typical, when meeting parents of children with special needs you find that although you might be virtual strangers your lives have so many shared moments you’re practically family.

(2) A link to video about Naoki Higashida by the Facilitated Communication Institute of Syracuse University, I write so I am alive. (You need to scroll down, although they’re all worth watching). Thank you Lisa from Aut2Communicate for the link. On watching the video at first I thought that Naoki was very much more organised than Archie, for example he was catching a ball and appeared calm and pretty much in control of his actions. Then Naoki started running and jumping, and hitting and biting himself and he looked very much more like Archie. Something I have noticed very recently is that as Archie progresses with the talker, and routinely produces longer sentences he is also becoming a little more organised. He can copy out words now, and he will sit at the table and concentrate on his homework (once we’ve managed to drag him away form his iPad). For a while now I’ve felt that one of Archie’s greatest problems has been his lack of oganisation and his slavery to involuntary movement and actions. It’s hard to complete a thought if it is always interrupted by the need to run and jump. It will be interesting to see how his emerging calmness and ability to concentrate develops. I am hopeful that it will continue to improve and lead us to exciting new places.

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Memories

The last post sort of links to this, but I didn’t want to combine the two as this is a step away from autism.

Archie’s memory is extraordinary. I have posted video about this before. Today I was talking to a friend about dementia, in somewhat simplistic terms the opposite of Archie’s memory. In both cases I suppose the memory isn’t functional as such. Archie’s inability to forget has been known to cause us problems. He became very upset for example on the anniversary of our trip to Ireland and watch out anyone who visits us after a three year gap in a different car. Memory it seems is something perhaps we don’t notice until it doesn’t function in quite the way we want.

My friend reminded me that she had made a short film about memory loss with the wonderful Maxine Peake. It’s not autism, but this film is beautifully shot and worth a watch when you have a spare five minutes so it’s sneaked its way onto the blog. I’m not sure that ‘enjoy’ is quite the right word, ‘admire’ perhaps.