[Autismlist] Re: DEAR LIST: Some Profiles of Listmembers
- Hi, All --
I wanted to add our names to the profile list, even though many of you are familiar with me and Jeremy through a number of postings a couple months ago. I am Valerie Carter, and my husband is Mike Howard. I have two children, Jeremy and Emma. My son Jeremy, from my first marriage, is 15, with diagnoses of autism, ("severe") MR, etc. He is nonverbal, and VERY active. He communicates through a combination of gestures, vocalization, a few signs, picture symbols, and a Prentke-Romich AlphaTalker which ties various combinations of picture symbols on a grid of touch-buttons to various words and phrasaes. Jeremy has lived in a small group home nearby since 1992; he is still not really toilet trained and requires pretty much constant supervision. He is very sweet and a delightful kid; is getting more socially interactive, and he is usually cheerful when things are going well (e.g., he has a familiar structure and routine, and gets enough physical exercise and stimulation). He is in a self-contained special needs classroom at our middle school, and will be transitioning to high school next year. School vacations are always difficult for him but he is getting better at dealing with them. I see him frequently, usually every week, and he comes home for visits 2-3 times a month. We moved to another house last November which is only three or four blocks away from his group home so this will be a good situation for us.
My daughter Emma, from my present marriage, is almost four, apparently NT (n ("neurologically typical") and very verbal. I especially appreciate and enjoy her pretend play since Jeremy has never indicated any pretend or imaginary play (e.g., he might spin the wheels on toy cars but never played with them as cars). She goes through phases; last fall she was going through a real jealousy phase and said she didn't like Jeremy ("He's NOT my brother!!") but things seem to be better now. They still compete for many of the same toys although she has already outgrown many of the toys he still plays with (e.g., the "See and Say" toy which spins around; Jeremy loves to stack various toys on top of the rotating part and then watch them spin.
Both Jeremy and Emma are the joy of my life! Thanks, -- Valerie C.
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