Happy Face

Filed Under (Adam) by Estee on 19-02-2009

Adam came home from Florida on Monday with his dad. When he arrived, he was cranky. A mother knows the cries — he was hungry I deduced. A plane ride of Goldfish and movies didn’t suffice the large appetite of this otherwise slim and well-metabolized little boy.

I am the gushing mother of Adam. I’m ridiculous at it and love to do it here on this blog. What can I say? I don’t mourn the loss of a “normal” child to an autistic one. Adam is Adam and I am lucky to have him as part of my life as I watch him grow and evolve. He is not a greedy little boy, but he is generous with himself and his heart. He does this with few words, yet he manages to do it better than most.

Yet, when he’s cranky, it presses my red alarm buttons. I fed him quickly. So happy was he that I explained that his “tummy was happy,” and I drew this happy face on his actual stomach. Adam is really into faces these days. In a world that believes that autistic people don’t “do” pretend play, he not only makes faces with things and food, he was making many things with strings of his spaghetti once his appetite was quelched. He also did not stop looking at his “happy” tummy, and he laughed hysterically.

Yesterday (here I go a-gushing again), his aide told me that Adam was painting. There was music playing in the background and Adam proceeded to paint carefully and with intention along with the music. All the children in his class gathered around him. They expressed to the teachers around (while Adam heard of course) that he was a great painter….”he’s better than Van Gogh,” they exclaimed.

You see? There’s always something to celebrate. There is always something to make us happy.

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About Me


I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (www.taaproject.com), and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.