Stress, Language, Progress

  John Elder Robison wrote recently about how functional levels change with time.  He copes better now with the stresses of life; some might even say he is no longer autistic.
  But the image comes with a price, as well as benefits.
  This is not a post about Mr. Robison.  He speaks well for himself, and others.  This post is about Max.


  When we went to the Firehouse Museum, we also stopped at Dairy Queen before leaving Ft. Wayne.
  It had been a stressful, if fun, day, and somehow Max & i did not convey to the attendant that he wanted a LARGE Coke.
  i do not want to remember, much less describe the scene that ensued, but perhaps you can imagine it.  At any rate, there was one.
  He endlessly repeated "Large Coke" the entire time we were there, and refused to fill his medium cup.
  Finally, as we left, he grabbed & dumped my diet Coke and filled that medium cup, not the previously-empty one, with regular Coke.

Speech: advocating for pizza

  More recently, we went to Fazoli's after a tutoring session, and ran into a similar problem.
  Combo #1 is spaghetti (choice of sauce) and either a slice of pizza (pepperoni or cheese) or a salad.
  Max always has meat sauce and a slice of pizza, though he varies whether it's pepperoni or cheese.
  Usually staff automatically walks their customers through the choices, but apparently this counterperson didn't hear part of Max's order.  And i didn't catch that the order was incomplete.
  At the DQ, i'd told Max that we'd already paid & couldn't change the order.
  Here, we'd paid before i understood what he'd been saying since i'd begun my order.  i'm not sure if i adequately conveyed to him the difference, but this time, still standing at the counter, i ordered a separate pizza.

Speech: don't wait for me

  Lately leaving the house can be stressful.  It seems he wants to make sure i'm actually leaving before he will go.
  It's true, i do far too often need to return for something.  But it's also awkward when he stands in the door and insists i go first.
  One morning a couple of weeks ago, we were leaving for the tutoring session.  Max stood in the kitchen, looking at me like he had no intention of going anywhere.
  i was trying to not lose my cool.
  Finally he came up with words of his own: "Walk on."
  Yay Max!!!!!

 Speech: where

  Someday all our plumbing problems will be fixed, and i will share something of them with you.  For now, we've taken down the damaged shower door in the smallest bathroom ("the boys' bathroom") and replaced it with a shower curtain.
  This time MyGuy was on the receiving end of the stock-still stare.
  He knocked on Max's door to announce/invite shower time.  (This is not something Max does unprompted, though he has definite ideas of when shower time is.)
  After a moment of staring at his dad, Max said simply "new shower."
   And, though  technically the only thing new about it is the curtain, Max got to use the "new shower."

Finding Words

has always been difficult for Max.  We've noticed that that, just before a big advance, Max gets stressed more easily and often.
  Being patient with him is not easy, though i'm finding it usually possible now.  
  And it is taking/will take time, but Max is finding his voice.

A Few Recent Posts about Max, Speech & Stress

Slice of Life: Communicating with Max 
Max's Visit to the Eye Doctor
Up & Down Day
Firehouse Museum  (A Wordless Wednesday entry)

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