For a kid with a supposedly severe language delay, my boy comes up with some pretty kick-ass wordplay, so much so that I now rely on him for the names of all of my blog entries just like I did on this one. It used to surprise me when he shouted "Madagas-truck!" upon seeing a muddy vehicle next to mine, but not any more. I've come to expect it. Actually that's not true. I was surprised when, after spinning his globe between Central Asia and South America for several seconds, he busted out some "Colombistan is close to Paklivia." I'd been using his love of geography to teach him beside, next to, between, close to, and far from, whatever the grammatical term is for such things, you see. It brings me great joy, really, to see my son's utter disregard for the conventions of communicative speech. He could give a rat's ass whether his words communicate a useful and accurate message; his purpose with speech is simply to entertain himself (Just like me, I might add.) When his therapist is working on him with yes/no questions, he first thinks for a second to make sure he understands the question, which he always does. Then he considers whether to answer the question and whether to answer it correctly. He answers correctly just often enough to have her continue the game because he likes the game. The rest of the time he either answers incorrectly or--and this is his favorite thing to do--he makes up his own yes/no question and answers it himself. "Can you drink a peanut butter sandwich? No! You can't drink a peanut butter sandwich!" He grins ear-to-ear at his wonderful creation. What a joy it is to see my son raise his middle finger to all those who say he ought to be doing this or ought to be doing that, even as I am one of those people. He lives his life on his own terms and I respect him for it very much.
Here is Jewish Temple Grandin herself:
What a remarkable woman!