The last sweet days of summer 2009

Filed Under (Adam, Autism and Learning) by Estee on 21-08-2009

IMG00880-20090821-1245 It was a happy and a sad day, Adam’s last day of the day camp he has been attending for the past three years. I remember when he was very little — around three — when I’d drive him in for a half day. I worried so much in those early days. I worried if something would happen to him. I worried if he would be happy or upset, as he was so easily in those days. I hung on every word and report the staff would give me and I would jump if my cell phone ever rang while he was not in my care.

Several years later, Adam seems to be a bit of a bigwig at camp. I am happy that he seems to swagger on and off the bus, and this year he did his last week without an aide, except for Greg (seen on the left) who agreed to shadow Adam on his last week. I had, of course, asked permission to publish this photo.

I picked up Adam at noon so we could head up North for his last couple weeks before school starts. And what did I find? Adam was hugging and playing with his counselors and their affection for him was in no short supply. We could barely leave after saying multiple and lingering goodbyes. Alyssa was sitting with him waiting for mommy. Greg was as  well. When we headed for the car, Jeff had to stop Adam one more time. Some other counselors waved from afar and didn’t make it into the picture.

This was a phenomenal summer for Adam — Addy is what I call him at home. He rocked the rock-climbing wall. He hit the target a few times in archery and had his first forays into baseball and golf. My kitchen shelf is FULL of ceramics and other arts and crafts. I can’t even keep up with all the songs he comes home with. Today, said Greg, it was “Tonight’s gonna be a good night,” by…oops I forgot…but it’s on the radio a lot. Adam tries to talk and it’s a challenge, yet it’s coming. He picks up a lot from his friends at camp and every day, I could tell Addy was, well, a happy little camper.

The end of Summer 2009 for Adam, in this year of enormous change in our family’s life, has been a successful one. Thanks to all the staff at his camp (which I will not name for obvious reasons), for accepting Adam and letting him succeed… as he is.


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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 (, 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.