Acknowledgments

1V1 any people have hovered over my shoulder as I was hunched over the keyboard writing these chapters. My friends and colleagues in the Offord Centre for Child Studies gave me lots of encouragement and constructive criticism as I tried to present the scientific evidence. Much of what I have learned came from working with a gifted group of clinicians dedicated to implementing evidence-based service plans for children with autism spectrum disorders. Lorrie Cheevers, Sue Honeyman, Leslie France,...

An Obsession with Death

Ot all obsessions have the potential to develop into passionate and intense interests that enrich perception. Some are terrifying in their implications. At age nine, Zachary was obsessed with death. He constantly asked his mother, Angela, What happens when Grandma dies Who will replace her He then systematically went over all the members of his family, asking the same question What happens when Uncle Jim dies Who will replace him What about cousin Sally Almost his entire conversational...

Websites

ASC was founded in 1976 by a group of parents to encourage the formation of autism societies and to address national autism issues. Today, ASC is the only national autism charitable organization committed to advocacy, public education, information and referral, and provincial development support. Autism Society of Canada P.O. Box 65 Orangeville, Ontario, Canada L9W 2Z5 The Source Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, MAAP Services (Asperger Syndrome Coalition of the...

Accepting the Enigma Moving Beyond the Cause

I come down the stairs late, and slightly breathless, for my afternoon appointment. I am confronted by what looks like a day care class outside the office three very young children, two girls and a boy, are running up and down the hall, shouting gleefully. They are watched rather anxiously by their parents, who in turn are watched rather anxiously by two grandparents. I quickly usher the entire family into my office. It's so crowded that there is little room for the children to run around. The...

Mind Apart

Understanding Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome To Dyanne, Kathryn, Claire, and Josie The more complete the joy of loving is. 2004 Peter Szatmari Published by The Guilford Press A Division of Guilford Publications, Inc. 72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012 www.guilford.com The information in this volume is not intended as a substitute for consultation with healthcare professionals. Each individual's health concerns should be evaluated by a qualified professional. No part of this book...

Acceptance without Resignation

D own the main street of a small village, a little girl and her mother go to the library. They make this brief excursion every day because the child so loves to look at books. It's a fine autumn morning, and the sun shines brightly as the two walk down a street shaded by oak and maple trees. Soon it will be Halloween, and already the houses are decorated with pumpkins and witches on broomsticks. The maple trees are in full color red, yellow, and orange leaves filter the sunlight. An elderly...

World without Metaphor

He wears a blue sweatshirt, blue jeans, and a white turtleneck. The sweatshirt has a logo of a cartoon character, Sailor Moon, on it. William is fourteen years old and is visiting me today because his parents are worried he might be depressed. They report that he spends a lot of time in his room, asks the same set of questions over and over again, and generally appears more anxious and withdrawn than usual. I notice his long, finely tapered fingers and his...

The Eccentric Entomologist

I sit and watch Stephen play in the afternoon sun outside my window. He is nine years old. I have not seen him for some time, and I'm surprised at how much he's grown. It's a warm day in December, but it feels more like spring as an early snowfall melts on the lawn. I work at an old hospital that used to be a tuberculosis sanatorium, and the maintenance staff are putting up the Christmas lights on a very tall pine tree, as they have done every December for many years. Stephen runs around the...

Learning and Forgetting at School

His IQ was 125, he started reading at age three, and he knew the capitals of all the countries in Europe by the time he was five. In day care he was known as the little professor. His parents, Mike and Daphne, who were both academics, expected great things of him in school, and at first they were not disappointed. His early school years were largely trouble free since he could rely on his reading skills to get by. He could recite the alphabet before anyone else in class...

Listening to the Architecture of the World

I often notice Justin pacing back and forth in the hallway while he waits for his appointment. Through the window he flits in and out of view as he goes up and down the corridor. He's always listening to his portable radio, just like any teenage boy. But Justin is thirty years old, and he lumbers rather than walks, humming a tune from the radio under his breath. I've known him for almost twenty years. He was one of the first people with autism I met, and for that reason he will always hold a...