Correspondence With My Brain (My Life With Nonverbal Autism)

I was three years old when I first saw Dr. Stanley Greenspan, a world-renowned child psychiatrist. My parents tried to make an appointment with him six months earlier, but there was a waitlist for new patients. For years to come, I essentially made a pilgrimage to see Dr. Stanley Greenspan with the hopes that my autism was a passing phase. Unfortunately, it has not passed as it remains with me today. So much has happened to me since I last saw him as a child. I now have a means of communicating and, if he were alive, this is what I would say.

Dr. Greenspan, after our last visit at age five, I was placed in a school for autistic kids. We were supposed to be included in normal classes but that did not happen. Instead, I was segregated into a room with all autistic kids. Can you picture that? I bet you can. It was like a scene from a movie where all of the people with disabilities were locked in a room with no windows.

The teachers tried to teach us things that they figured we needed, like puzzles and putting toys in their proper place. What a waste of fucking time! I really liked my schoolmates a lot, but it bothered me that we could not bond with one another. I take that back because I do think that we bonded, but I just could not verbally communicate with them or the staff. This is why so many people think that those of us who are autistic, especially those who are nonverbal, are thought to have low intelligence. This frustrated me greatly and often influenced bad behavior on my part. I would do anything to garner attention such as stripping off my clothes in public or screeching as loud as I could.

Eventually, I learned how to communicate by typing. My ability to type was my escape into the real world as I matriculated with normal kids. Did I say normal? They were normal, not me. I still could not speak, and I still flapped my hands, so I was definitely not normal. However, I proved that I could compete academically and maybe I can give you credit for this. I do think that your Floortime approach made me use my brain instead of being told what to do by applied behavior analysis. The inability to converse with schoolmates was very frustrating to me as I could not say out loud what thoughts were in my mind.

I could not understand why I was the person who I was. You couldn’t tell me. No one could. I had to find out from somebody, but nobody knew the answer. Not realizing that I would ever know this mysterious answer, I decided to go directly to the source. I wrote a letter to my brain. That’s right. I wrote a letter to my brain figuring that it should know what happened to it. I brought it with me so that you would know what my life is like. 


Dear Brain,

What the hell happened to you? Can you explain to me why you behave in the manner that you do? I would really like to know the thought processes of your endless wiring networks, and why they are preventing me from speaking. Did somebody sneak inside my skull, lift up my calvarium, and cut the wires that transmitted the signals to the vocal cords? I don’t recall having any surgery so if you have a surveillance camera inside, I would like to inspect the video for this thief who robbed me of my childhood.

Brain, you and I have a long history together. Long before we were born, we were acquainted with each other. You started sending me signals and instructions when we were in the friendly confines of my mother’s womb. We were well protected for thirty-eight weeks. I don’t recall anything attacking us in the uterus. I think we were very healthy at birth. So, here’s my question for you: When did it happen? When did we become autistic? On day two of life, I was jabbed with a vaccination against hepatitis B. I can only assume that this vaccine wigged you out. Why did they vaccinate us newborns against a sexually transmitted disease? Who were we going to have sex with?

Okay, brain, let’s move past infancy and try to figure out when you went haywire. Everything was honky dory until I received the MMR vaccination. Did you tell my intestines to leak out so much shit and to cry incessantly? It looks like you went on overload and shorted out the circuits to my speech because no words came out of my mouth after that. I wish there was a way that we could have communicated to each other back then because maybe we could have called an electrician to repair your wirings.

In case you forgot, let me fill you in on what happened next. This goofy looking doctor told me that I had autism. I said, “What’s that?” although no sound came out of my mouth.

My pediatrician, the one who ignored my parents’ queries about my lack of language, said that I would not amount to very much. Boy, was he wrong. We traveled across the country to see if some doctor could fix us. Do you remember Chicago and Dr. Chez? He tried to find out what was going on with you. We were strapped with electrodes and wires as if we were Michael Crichton’s Terminal Man. We were told that you had epileptiform activity in your temporal lobes which screwed you up. I had to take seizure medicines and steroids as a result. At least the steroids stopped the diarrhea. Did you have anything to do with that? Thank you if you did.

What therapies do you think worked the best? I personally thought that applied behavior analysis was a bunch of crap as we were treated like animals. “Point to the apple, Ben! Good job. Here is a goldfish. Show me the book. Good job, here is a goldfish.”

Did you release any extra neurotransmitters if I responded properly to the questions from the weird therapists? I really thought that Dr. Greenspan’s Floortime was the best because I think it allowed you to make connections and give me more cognitive thoughts. The reward was that I could do what I wanted and not what some paid trainer wanted me to do. I hope you did not get dizzy from the circle of communications that were made during Floortime. This process was great for me because I really liked taking the lead to do what I wanted. You must have instructed to have more acetylcholine released in order for my motor planning to develop. That’s what they call brain plasticity. By the way, do you have any plastic inside you? Just kidding, brain!

Hey brain, I need to “pick you” about another subject. Do you remember when my parents discovered that I could type? We were eight years old and going through occupational therapy when Dad decided to place a keyboard in front of me. He asked me some dumbshit questions like who were the President and Vice President of the United States. He also asked me to identify the Secretary of State and other Cabinet members. I would have preferred if he would have asked me how I was or talked about football. So, the question I have for you is how did you make the connection to bring my thought processes to my fingers? Is it a wireless connection?

Either way, I have to thank you profusely for allowing me to communicate this way because it opened so many doors for me as I was able to attend real schools and not just those for autistic kids.

Your memories and information that were a part of your cortex came out in my writings for which we received glowing remarks and praise. When I was nine years old, I wrote My Adventure in Life, an essay that received a statewide first place award in the Young Authors Contest sponsored by the Louisiana Reading Association. 

At age thirteen, everything was cool in school as I achieved great grades and ninety-something percentile on all of those standardized tests. I even had my Bar Mitzvah in which you allowed me to type Hebrew and present my thoughts about our condition of being autistic. Boy, did we shock some people as we basically told God to go to hell!

Then it happened. We had our first full-blown grand mal seizure. It was no fun down here as shit and piss go everywhere when you have these electrical storms. Sometimes, they are violent, and I get battered or even break bones. What happens to you? I imagine there are massive flows of energy that get released. Maybe we could harness it for alternative fuels like solar or wind. Either way, I hope the Zonegran medication has created a neutral environment for you as everything that happens to you affects me greatly.

Speaking of pills, would you accept a pill that would cure us of autism and epilepsy? It would be simply called “brain pill.” I would not hesitate to take a brain pill if it would cure me of the disease that keeps me from speaking. Autism is hell! Imagine yourself being in a room with lots of people and not being able to hold a conversation with any of them. I have a zipper on my mouth that is stuck and can never be fixed. There is no way that you and I could ask a cute girl out on a date. No girl would go out with someone who has interference with social cues. We are totally dependent on a parent or person for our everyday needs such as bathing, brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc. Every single one of the aforementioned statements can be applied to us. If there is that magic brain pill, then let us be the first in line to receive it.

Hey brain, I hope that I did not overwhelm you with all of my questions. We have experienced so much in our lives so far. Nobody should have to accept the assault that we have endured, but who knows what will come down the road. Keep sending those transmissions to my fingers. Talk to you soon, hopefully.

~Ben


Dr. Greenspan, how did you like my letter? I thought that it gave me some comic relief, but it does state what a life with autism is like. I really hated the fact that I could not do the things that most children could do. I also wondered if there were any benefits from being autistic, especially nonverbal. The aphasic part of me frustrated me more than ever as I have told you, but it may have also had a positive effect. It may have helped develop my writing skills so that I could communicate effectively.

People just assume that since one can’t speak then one can’t understand. I understood everything that I heard and was able to process this. I had and still do have a remarkable vocabulary mainly because my parents brought knowledge to my fingertips in the source of books and computers. My bedroom bookcase was full of history novels ranging from Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage to Weir’s novels on the Tudors. Autistic writers such as Grandin, Tammett, and Mukhopadhyay gave me the inspiration to write and conquer autism. You can take some credit, as well, as the process of interactions of Floortime must have expanded my abilities for creative writing.

Several months after my letter to my brain, I wondered what my brain would say to me if it could respond. I couldn’t imagine if it had the answers to my questions, but I thought I would give my imagination a workout. It will give you an indication of my mindset.


Dear Ben,

Happy Birthday Benjamin David Alexander! I can’t believe that you are now 16 years old today. You were born at 3:22 a.m. on March 22nd. How bizarre is that? Everybody knew how obsessive compulsive you were going to be based on the time of your delivery. You were certainly punctual.

Well, I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to reply to your letter. My schedule has been so busy with all of the reading and writing this semester, especially that creative writing class that deals with so many women’s topics. If my cortex could spin around my brainstem, it would. My neurons in the limbic areas have been firing on overdrive, but the command center here says to tell you to keep plugging away because all of the pleasure neurons are sucking down the endorphins like crazy. I am also supposed to tell you to get email addresses from your classmates because they are great and cute too.

Ben, I did get a chuckle regarding the surveillance camera, and I must say that we presently do not have one—although, with all of the robberies in New Orleans, maybe we should get one. However, I do have long-term and short-term memory banks that are intact and have not been tampered with. As you know, no one can remember anything before their second or third birthday, and so I can make no remarks about our co-coexistence in utero. You are stepping on dangerous ground, my friend, if you start accusing vaccinations as the reason that we developed autism. Just remember who states that there is no link between vaccinations and autism: The American Academy of Pediatrics. Guess who sits on the boards of the vaccine makers? The American Academy of Pediatrics. You think that there might be a conflict of interest? Hah!

Ben, I do remember the visits to numerous physicians who tried to figure out the disconnection between us. Dr. Sands tested us for several things, and I sent you the answers, but apparently, you were not listening to any of the messages that I sent.

It was as if you put your smartphone on silent mode. I just could not figure out why you had to spin in circles as it swished my spinal fluid around and tested my vestibular neurons to the max. I do remember our trip to see Dr. Chez in Chicago, but not because he placed a bunch of electrodes to peek inside me. What I remember was the shock I received when you jumped into a frozen Lake Michigan in January. What the hell were you thinking! It was not the polar bear swim! Yes, we have traveled all over the United States of America to see electricians who tried to reconnect our wirings.

The best of these was Dr. Stanley Greenspan, whose Floortime approach gave my frontal lobes a significant workout. I thought he was so cool with his sweaters and Birkenstock shoes. He taped us using something ancient called VHS. I could have shat in my pants—if that was anatomically possible—as I watched your dad try to make circles of communication with you. “Follow his lead,” is what Stanley said to your frustrated parents. “Follow his lead and do what he wants and not what you what him to do. This will develop his mind.” These circles did not make me dizzy, but instead, it made connections between the cognitive parts of my frontal lobes and the rest of my neural networks. I truly believe that Stanley was the one who set us on the path to what will hopefully be a cure or close to it. We could have really been placed in some institution where we could stare at the walls all day long or incessantly watch Spongebob until we fell asleep at night.

Ben, I do remember when your father placed that keyboard in front of you. My thoughts were, “What the hell took you so long, Sam?”

I saw the board as a way to get all of the uploaded information out and relieve some of that intracranial pressure. It was a massive build-up or blockade that had to be lifted. Maybe Moses came with his staff and parted the seas so that everything you needed to say would come out. I don’t have the answers for why then, but I do think that Stanley had a lot of influence with the circles of communication which had stimulated my synapses instead of them becoming atrophic, which would make us a sloth.

You and I used our imagination in Floortime by playing with headless dolls, broken cars, and of course Buzz and Woody. Kids today need to do this instead of video games and television. You could not have become the writer that you are now and continue to be without Floortime and Stanley Greenspan. Ben, you are still doing Floortime to this day, and your instructors let you use your creativity to put together a story that will tickle my limbic regions and allow you to have the gratification of writing a beautiful piece of art. Your published works are the prime examples when these circles of communication mingle inside of me. I am sure that Stanley would be proud of you.

Ben, I too am miffed about the seizures as I have no idea why I overload with electrical activity. I felt really strange after the bar mitzvah, and I can’t blame it on all of the lox and bagels that you consumed. Maybe the rabbi sent some invisible energy bolts through his fingers when he placed his hands on our long wavy hair as he gave us his blessing. Did this unleash the excitatory neurons to create chaos under the dome of the skull? We will never know what the cause of these massive electrical storms that could have easily burned up Benjamin Franklin’s kite.

I am so sorry that you broke your hand during one of my seizures, but I can assure you that it ain’t fun up here. It is like combining an Oklahoma tornado, a California earthquake, and a Gulf Coast hurricane all in one. Jim Cantori comes on with a little warning and then takes on the brunt of the storms. The only good thing to come out of this is the rebuilding as you seem to talk a little after each horrific seizure as if your computer, me, has been rebooted.

Ben, I feel your pain. I wish that there was a little magic potion that could cure us, but we need to face reality and stop moaning and groaning. You are extremely lucky despite all of your faults and insecurities. Sure, you can’t speak with your mouth, but your linguistics class taught you that there are certainly other ways to communicate, and you have done this loud and clear. Every place where you have been, people know of Benjamin Alexander. Sure, you have a zipper on your mouth, but your fingers can sing Stairway to Heaven. So let’s make a deal. Keep your head up and don’t get discouraged, and I will continue to send you those operas so that you can inform the world what is inside us.

Yours truly,

Brain


Dr. Greenspan, I guess you can figure out that you deserve a great deal of credit for my development. I complained back then about my autism even though I couldn’t express myself out loud. Today, there is a group who states that autism is part of neurodiversity, which means that those of us with autism are really meant to be this way. But who in the hell wants to be autistic? I certainly don’t!

If I could scream out loud and say I can’t take this shit anymore, then I would. Instead, my screams came out through my fingers as I typed to the world to let them know that autism is hell, and I would do anything to get rid of it.



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ENGAGE IN THE CONVERSATION

Correspondence With My Brain (My Life With Nonverbal Autism)

I was three years old when I first saw Dr. Stanley Greenspan, a world-renowned child psychiatrist. My parents tried to make an appointment with him six months earlier, but there was a waitlist for new patients. For years to come, I essentially made a pilgrimage to see Dr. Stanley Greenspan with the hopes that my autism was a passing phase. Unfortunately, it has not passed as it remains with me today. So much has happened to me since I last saw him as a child. I now have a means of communicating and, if he were alive, this is what I would say.

Dr. Greenspan, after our last visit at age five, I was placed in a school for autistic kids. We were supposed to be included in normal classes but that did not happen. Instead, I was segregated into a room with all autistic kids. Can you picture that? I bet you can. It was like a scene from a movie where all of the people with disabilities were locked in a room with no windows.

The teachers tried to teach us things that they figured we needed, like puzzles and putting toys in their proper place. What a waste of fucking time! I really liked my schoolmates a lot, but it bothered me that we could not bond with one another. I take that back because I do think that we bonded, but I just could not verbally communicate with them or the staff. This is why so many people think that those of us who are autistic, especially those who are nonverbal, are thought to have low intelligence. This frustrated me greatly and often influenced bad behavior on my part. I would do anything to garner attention such as stripping off my clothes in public or screeching as loud as I could.

Eventually, I learned how to communicate by typing. My ability to type was my escape into the real world as I matriculated with normal kids. Did I say normal? They were normal, not me. I still could not speak, and I still flapped my hands, so I was definitely not normal. However, I proved that I could compete academically and maybe I can give you credit for this. I do think that your Floortime approach made me use my brain instead of being told what to do by applied behavior analysis. The inability to converse with schoolmates was very frustrating to me as I could not say out loud what thoughts were in my mind.

I could not understand why I was the person who I was. You couldn’t tell me. No one could. I had to find out from somebody, but nobody knew the answer. Not realizing that I would ever know this mysterious answer, I decided to go directly to the source. I wrote a letter to my brain. That’s right. I wrote a letter to my brain figuring that it should know what happened to it. I brought it with me so that you would know what my life is like. 


Dear Brain,

What the hell happened to you? Can you explain to me why you behave in the manner that you do? I would really like to know the thought processes of your endless wiring networks, and why they are preventing me from speaking. Did somebody sneak inside my skull, lift up my calvarium, and cut the wires that transmitted the signals to the vocal cords? I don’t recall having any surgery so if you have a surveillance camera inside, I would like to inspect the video for this thief who robbed me of my childhood.

Brain, you and I have a long history together. Long before we were born, we were acquainted with each other. You started sending me signals and instructions when we were in the friendly confines of my mother’s womb. We were well protected for thirty-eight weeks. I don’t recall anything attacking us in the uterus. I think we were very healthy at birth. So, here’s my question for you: When did it happen? When did we become autistic? On day two of life, I was jabbed with a vaccination against hepatitis B. I can only assume that this vaccine wigged you out. Why did they vaccinate us newborns against a sexually transmitted disease? Who were we going to have sex with?

Okay, brain, let’s move past infancy and try to figure out when you went haywire. Everything was honky dory until I received the MMR vaccination. Did you tell my intestines to leak out so much shit and to cry incessantly? It looks like you went on overload and shorted out the circuits to my speech because no words came out of my mouth after that. I wish there was a way that we could have communicated to each other back then because maybe we could have called an electrician to repair your wirings.

In case you forgot, let me fill you in on what happened next. This goofy looking doctor told me that I had autism. I said, “What’s that?” although no sound came out of my mouth.

My pediatrician, the one who ignored my parents’ queries about my lack of language, said that I would not amount to very much. Boy, was he wrong. We traveled across the country to see if some doctor could fix us. Do you remember Chicago and Dr. Chez? He tried to find out what was going on with you. We were strapped with electrodes and wires as if we were Michael Crichton’s Terminal Man. We were told that you had epileptiform activity in your temporal lobes which screwed you up. I had to take seizure medicines and steroids as a result. At least the steroids stopped the diarrhea. Did you have anything to do with that? Thank you if you did.

What therapies do you think worked the best? I personally thought that applied behavior analysis was a bunch of crap as we were treated like animals. “Point to the apple, Ben! Good job. Here is a goldfish. Show me the book. Good job, here is a goldfish.”

Did you release any extra neurotransmitters if I responded properly to the questions from the weird therapists? I really thought that Dr. Greenspan’s Floortime was the best because I think it allowed you to make connections and give me more cognitive thoughts. The reward was that I could do what I wanted and not what some paid trainer wanted me to do. I hope you did not get dizzy from the circle of communications that were made during Floortime. This process was great for me because I really liked taking the lead to do what I wanted. You must have instructed to have more acetylcholine released in order for my motor planning to develop. That’s what they call brain plasticity. By the way, do you have any plastic inside you? Just kidding, brain!

Hey brain, I need to “pick you” about another subject. Do you remember when my parents discovered that I could type? We were eight years old and going through occupational therapy when Dad decided to place a keyboard in front of me. He asked me some dumbshit questions like who were the President and Vice President of the United States. He also asked me to identify the Secretary of State and other Cabinet members. I would have preferred if he would have asked me how I was or talked about football. So, the question I have for you is how did you make the connection to bring my thought processes to my fingers? Is it a wireless connection?

Either way, I have to thank you profusely for allowing me to communicate this way because it opened so many doors for me as I was able to attend real schools and not just those for autistic kids.

Your memories and information that were a part of your cortex came out in my writings for which we received glowing remarks and praise. When I was nine years old, I wrote My Adventure in Life, an essay that received a statewide first place award in the Young Authors Contest sponsored by the Louisiana Reading Association. 

At age thirteen, everything was cool in school as I achieved great grades and ninety-something percentile on all of those standardized tests. I even had my Bar Mitzvah in which you allowed me to type Hebrew and present my thoughts about our condition of being autistic. Boy, did we shock some people as we basically told God to go to hell!

Then it happened. We had our first full-blown grand mal seizure. It was no fun down here as shit and piss go everywhere when you have these electrical storms. Sometimes, they are violent, and I get battered or even break bones. What happens to you? I imagine there are massive flows of energy that get released. Maybe we could harness it for alternative fuels like solar or wind. Either way, I hope the Zonegran medication has created a neutral environment for you as everything that happens to you affects me greatly.

Speaking of pills, would you accept a pill that would cure us of autism and epilepsy? It would be simply called “brain pill.” I would not hesitate to take a brain pill if it would cure me of the disease that keeps me from speaking. Autism is hell! Imagine yourself being in a room with lots of people and not being able to hold a conversation with any of them. I have a zipper on my mouth that is stuck and can never be fixed. There is no way that you and I could ask a cute girl out on a date. No girl would go out with someone who has interference with social cues. We are totally dependent on a parent or person for our everyday needs such as bathing, brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc. Every single one of the aforementioned statements can be applied to us. If there is that magic brain pill, then let us be the first in line to receive it.

Hey brain, I hope that I did not overwhelm you with all of my questions. We have experienced so much in our lives so far. Nobody should have to accept the assault that we have endured, but who knows what will come down the road. Keep sending those transmissions to my fingers. Talk to you soon, hopefully.

~Ben


Dr. Greenspan, how did you like my letter? I thought that it gave me some comic relief, but it does state what a life with autism is like. I really hated the fact that I could not do the things that most children could do. I also wondered if there were any benefits from being autistic, especially nonverbal. The aphasic part of me frustrated me more than ever as I have told you, but it may have also had a positive effect. It may have helped develop my writing skills so that I could communicate effectively.

People just assume that since one can’t speak then one can’t understand. I understood everything that I heard and was able to process this. I had and still do have a remarkable vocabulary mainly because my parents brought knowledge to my fingertips in the source of books and computers. My bedroom bookcase was full of history novels ranging from Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage to Weir’s novels on the Tudors. Autistic writers such as Grandin, Tammett, and Mukhopadhyay gave me the inspiration to write and conquer autism. You can take some credit, as well, as the process of interactions of Floortime must have expanded my abilities for creative writing.

Several months after my letter to my brain, I wondered what my brain would say to me if it could respond. I couldn’t imagine if it had the answers to my questions, but I thought I would give my imagination a workout. It will give you an indication of my mindset.


Dear Ben,

Happy Birthday Benjamin David Alexander! I can’t believe that you are now 16 years old today. You were born at 3:22 a.m. on March 22nd. How bizarre is that? Everybody knew how obsessive compulsive you were going to be based on the time of your delivery. You were certainly punctual.

Well, I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to reply to your letter. My schedule has been so busy with all of the reading and writing this semester, especially that creative writing class that deals with so many women’s topics. If my cortex could spin around my brainstem, it would. My neurons in the limbic areas have been firing on overdrive, but the command center here says to tell you to keep plugging away because all of the pleasure neurons are sucking down the endorphins like crazy. I am also supposed to tell you to get email addresses from your classmates because they are great and cute too.

Ben, I did get a chuckle regarding the surveillance camera, and I must say that we presently do not have one—although, with all of the robberies in New Orleans, maybe we should get one. However, I do have long-term and short-term memory banks that are intact and have not been tampered with. As you know, no one can remember anything before their second or third birthday, and so I can make no remarks about our co-coexistence in utero. You are stepping on dangerous ground, my friend, if you start accusing vaccinations as the reason that we developed autism. Just remember who states that there is no link between vaccinations and autism: The American Academy of Pediatrics. Guess who sits on the boards of the vaccine makers? The American Academy of Pediatrics. You think that there might be a conflict of interest? Hah!

Ben, I do remember the visits to numerous physicians who tried to figure out the disconnection between us. Dr. Sands tested us for several things, and I sent you the answers, but apparently, you were not listening to any of the messages that I sent.

It was as if you put your smartphone on silent mode. I just could not figure out why you had to spin in circles as it swished my spinal fluid around and tested my vestibular neurons to the max. I do remember our trip to see Dr. Chez in Chicago, but not because he placed a bunch of electrodes to peek inside me. What I remember was the shock I received when you jumped into a frozen Lake Michigan in January. What the hell were you thinking! It was not the polar bear swim! Yes, we have traveled all over the United States of America to see electricians who tried to reconnect our wirings.

The best of these was Dr. Stanley Greenspan, whose Floortime approach gave my frontal lobes a significant workout. I thought he was so cool with his sweaters and Birkenstock shoes. He taped us using something ancient called VHS. I could have shat in my pants—if that was anatomically possible—as I watched your dad try to make circles of communication with you. “Follow his lead,” is what Stanley said to your frustrated parents. “Follow his lead and do what he wants and not what you what him to do. This will develop his mind.” These circles did not make me dizzy, but instead, it made connections between the cognitive parts of my frontal lobes and the rest of my neural networks. I truly believe that Stanley was the one who set us on the path to what will hopefully be a cure or close to it. We could have really been placed in some institution where we could stare at the walls all day long or incessantly watch Spongebob until we fell asleep at night.

Ben, I do remember when your father placed that keyboard in front of you. My thoughts were, “What the hell took you so long, Sam?”

I saw the board as a way to get all of the uploaded information out and relieve some of that intracranial pressure. It was a massive build-up or blockade that had to be lifted. Maybe Moses came with his staff and parted the seas so that everything you needed to say would come out. I don’t have the answers for why then, but I do think that Stanley had a lot of influence with the circles of communication which had stimulated my synapses instead of them becoming atrophic, which would make us a sloth.

You and I used our imagination in Floortime by playing with headless dolls, broken cars, and of course Buzz and Woody. Kids today need to do this instead of video games and television. You could not have become the writer that you are now and continue to be without Floortime and Stanley Greenspan. Ben, you are still doing Floortime to this day, and your instructors let you use your creativity to put together a story that will tickle my limbic regions and allow you to have the gratification of writing a beautiful piece of art. Your published works are the prime examples when these circles of communication mingle inside of me. I am sure that Stanley would be proud of you.

Ben, I too am miffed about the seizures as I have no idea why I overload with electrical activity. I felt really strange after the bar mitzvah, and I can’t blame it on all of the lox and bagels that you consumed. Maybe the rabbi sent some invisible energy bolts through his fingers when he placed his hands on our long wavy hair as he gave us his blessing. Did this unleash the excitatory neurons to create chaos under the dome of the skull? We will never know what the cause of these massive electrical storms that could have easily burned up Benjamin Franklin’s kite.

I am so sorry that you broke your hand during one of my seizures, but I can assure you that it ain’t fun up here. It is like combining an Oklahoma tornado, a California earthquake, and a Gulf Coast hurricane all in one. Jim Cantori comes on with a little warning and then takes on the brunt of the storms. The only good thing to come out of this is the rebuilding as you seem to talk a little after each horrific seizure as if your computer, me, has been rebooted.

Ben, I feel your pain. I wish that there was a little magic potion that could cure us, but we need to face reality and stop moaning and groaning. You are extremely lucky despite all of your faults and insecurities. Sure, you can’t speak with your mouth, but your linguistics class taught you that there are certainly other ways to communicate, and you have done this loud and clear. Every place where you have been, people know of Benjamin Alexander. Sure, you have a zipper on your mouth, but your fingers can sing Stairway to Heaven. So let’s make a deal. Keep your head up and don’t get discouraged, and I will continue to send you those operas so that you can inform the world what is inside us.

Yours truly,

Brain


Dr. Greenspan, I guess you can figure out that you deserve a great deal of credit for my development. I complained back then about my autism even though I couldn’t express myself out loud. Today, there is a group who states that autism is part of neurodiversity, which means that those of us with autism are really meant to be this way. But who in the hell wants to be autistic? I certainly don’t!

If I could scream out loud and say I can’t take this shit anymore, then I would. Instead, my screams came out through my fingers as I typed to the world to let them know that autism is hell, and I would do anything to get rid of it.



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