Sign the Mona Lisa, With a Spray Can, Call it Art

Oh how I love Foolish Heart. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a song by the Grateful Dead. On Saturdays Bryan has speech group. They usually do some sort of activity where they have to talk or interact, like cooking, for example. The idea is to create a social situation where you are forced to use language to communicate. Sometimes Jason goes too. He is part helper, part victim. On this particular day, they did a little experiment. They had to close their eyes and imagine a fish tank filled with fish and anything else they could see in their mind’s eye. I have always loved that expression, mind’s eye. So clever! I never know ahead of time what they are going to do at group. When I picked them up, Cindy, their OT, explained the exercise to me and showed me Bryan and Jason’s drawings. The interesting thing was that they were very similar. For some reason, I had a lump in my throat. They were not similar, like oh wow they are brothers isn’t that genetically interesting, but similar in that, could a psychologist say which one was from the child with autism and which one was from the typical child? I am betting they couldn’t. Goes back to what we mommies and daddies knew all along. It’s in there. It’s just locked up under some secret code no one has completely broken yet. It was also interesting because I always think of Bryan as so visual and not imaginative. My bad, clearly. He of course has an imagination, but seeing the manifestation of it on paper was just great and one more lesson in the “pay attention mommy, i’m not a total dope category”.
Earl sent me a you tube video of two adult brothers. The older boy has autism and the younger one was typical and was asked what it’s like to have an older brother with autism. The video shows the boys in the car singing together. The younger one, who is about 20, talks about their relationship. I hate to brag, but I could see this as Bryan and Jason in the future. Jason is very over protective of Bryan and at times very bossy, but they are best friends and there is real love and friendship there. The narration by the typical brother was meaningful, warm, and moving. Without even putting the sound on, however, the rhythm of their relationship was apparent.
We are a little more than one week until Bryan’s Bar Mitzvah. I am so excited. I can feel the celebration and just can’t wait to see the boys in their suits. I have heard Bryan over the microphone and the sound is a real treat since he often speaks the prayers in a soft voice. The image of him with a yarmulke standing on the Bima saying prayers that millions of other Bar Mitzvah boys have done is already in my heart, now just can’t wait to get the pictures to match.


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