Ron Suskind’s son, Owen, is regressive autistic; he was a normal child until around three when he “vanished”. For years the Suskinds tried to reach Owen and, over time, discovered Disney animated movies as the way to reach him — and for Owen to express himself. Of the story, this passage stuck with m the most:
There’s a reason — a good-enough reason — that each autistic person has embraced a particular interest. Find that reason, and you will find them, hiding in there, and maybe get a glimpse of their underlying capacities. In our experience, we found that showing authentic interest will help them feel dignity and impel them to show you more, complete with maps and navigational tools that may help to guide their development, their growth. Revealed capability, in turn, may lead to a better understanding of what’s possible in the lives of many people who are challenged.
There are plenty of other good paragraphs I could have quoted but that seems to resonate with me for some reason. Perhaps it’s hopeful that we may better understand what causes autism and be better equipped to connect with those who have lost their outer voice.
Advice, like fruit, is best when it’s fresh. But advice quickly decays, and 15 year-old advice is bound to be radioactive. Sharing a life experience is one thing (grandparents are great at this – listen to them!), but advice is another thing. Don’t give advice about things you used to know. Just because you did something a long time ago doesn’t mean you’re qualified to talk about it today.
Think you’ll get a good answer from a 30 year old telling you what it’s like to be 15? Or a 20 year old remembering what it’s like to be 5? Shit, I’m about to turn 40, and all I remember about being 25 is that I wasn’t 26. How clearly do you really remember anything from 15 years ago? And how many of those memories are actually marred by time and current experiences? How many of those things really happened the way you recall them today?
I’ve always loved Lamborghinis ever since I saw the Countach 500S in the 1980’s. The new Huracán is breathtaking — much better than some of their other more recentmodels. It might not have the exact pedigree of Ferrari but Lambos will always be my most favorite supercar.
Interesting video from The Atlantic on the U.S. Naval Observatory which regulates the nation’s time clocks. It talks about how time is calculated, why it’s important they be as accurate as possible, and the problems we’ll face as clocks become even more accurate.