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Food For Thought: Learning To Listen

By Shirley Poindexter Dyer

August 8, 1985 - This morning as I was driving along, delivering my daughter to her summer program, I asked her to tell me about the beach she went to the day before.  She started laughing and giggling so hard in the back seat that I wanted to laugh with her.  I asked why she was laughing.  She said she was laughing about the water at the beach.  Then she paused, and seriously, asked me: "Mom, what is part of the sand?"

I answered, "What part of the sand are you talk­ing about? The part that's out of the water, or the part that's under the water?"

"Mom, what is part of the sand?"

"I don't know what's part, sweetheart.  If it's out of the water, it's the beach.  Is that what you mean?"

She responded, "Mom, what is part of the fire?"

"Do you mean the little things sticking up?"

"Like this mom!" (She held her hand with her fingers sticking up and wiggled them.)

"Part of the fire is a flame.  Is that what you mean?"

"Mom, what is part of the sand?"

"Oh!" I responded in amazement.  "Now I know what you want.  Part of the fire is a flame, and part of the sand is a grain.  A grain of sand is what you wanted to know.  Is that right?"

"A grain of sand," she said, satisfied.  She re­sumed her laughing and giggling.

[This happened in 1985, Autistic 12 years old.]

 

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