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A + for The A-Word: The most authentic look at Autism on screen.

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I worked for several years with a succession of autistic children—which mostly means boys—kids who were mainstreamed in regular education classrooms, with a classroom aide assigned to shadow them. That was me, the shadow. 

We also lived next door to a family who had an autistic son who became one of our son’s closest playmates, until we moved away at the end of elementary school. Chris, with his funny idiosyncrasies is the source of some very sweet memories, as well as moments of high drama. That’s what you get with autism, children who can be deeply involved when their needs and passions are directed and shared but who can sometimes find it frustrating when those needs are brushed aside. 

It’s typical for an autistic child to want to talk about dinosaurs—or whatever the passion is—and be frustrated while the rest of the kids have moved on to another topic. The autistic child is focused on that stegasaurus and exactly how cool it is, just not quite getting that the others don't shar…

My favorite Veteran: A British Officer and a Gentleman


This is the man that stole my mother's heart. A pretty dashing example of "the greatest generation" in his prime. My mother brought a friend along on their first date because he had a reputation for being a cad - that's "player" in today's lingo - and she was trying to put him off. Rather than being put off, my dad charmed the friend as well sealing the deal. He was always a dazzling dancer and he probably rattled off some compliments in one of the four languages he was fluent in — besides English: French, Italian, Spanish and Arabic. He might even have wooed her in Swahili; self-taught, he had learned a smattering of that language, as well. In any case it worked. The next time he asked my mum out, they went solo. And the rest, as they say, is history. My family's history!

My dad, Edward Good, part of the Greatest Generation, was born in Preston, Lancashire, in the north of England on July 28, 1915. He served with the British Armed Forces in World War II. At one point he oversaw the command of an Italian prisoner of war camp in North Africa. He sent this picture to my mum in 1941. Years later, because I loved the photo of my handsome father so much, he made me a copy and inked over my mother's name with mine. Thinking of him today, Veteran's Day, 2014. He passed away in January, 1992. I'm so grateful he met my then husband-to-be and that we had one last special Christmas together before he died; my biggest disappointment is that he never met our son. The adoration, I think, would have been mutual and oh the stories my father could have told him.

Remembering all the vets with affection and admiration. My father, thank God, did not have to give his lives for us, but he would have. Thinking today, not only of my father, but of those who did.

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