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18 May 2010


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Beautifully said...I know most parents do not consider their children or their situation tragic....they state to me that their kids are "The best kids ever"...I love your prose and style of writing/thinking. Thank you for continuing to write about life with Charlie!


I love reading your blog. It makes me feel warm and snuzzly.

I also wish I knew latin. Because it tastes interesting.


Kristina, the best academic work is marked by its growth from passionate and personal interest, It embues what can be stodgy research-heavy tomes with the humanity that compels the reader to engage with it. Jim's book is like that,

Your translation of Virgil's Eclogues would be one of those.

I can foresee a book where you translate the poems, and accompany each with an autobiographical essay about being "aut and about" with Charlie - walking around home, or at the beach, or all the other places you take him. Charlie has a physical love of the bucolic that embodies the spirit you describe in the pastoral. Your reflections on travels with him are an wonderful examination of the nature of the elegiac not tragedy, but appreciation.

It would be the kind of book that helps the modern reader understand the great speaker of a culture supposed to be "dead." It would also reach between the NT and autistic worlds, and teach all who read us what translation means.

I'm serious. This could be a bigger seller than a book of Seneca's tragedies ever would be.

Kristina Chew

thanks so much--we met a young man on the spectrum a few years ago who noted to us that he much preferred be in a 'boring' suburb because of the quiet (haven't seen any cows around here lately but did site some Canadian geese + goslings....)---now Jim doesn't have to hear me go through all the reasons I don't like the Roman empire again and again.

thank you so much! I also like to think of life with Charlie as an epic poem---certainly it is one adventure after another!

Kristina Chew

I've always found something very comforting about reading Virgil; I've a bit of a preference for Greek, many more 'tastes'---hoping to keep up the warm and snuzzlies here!


As you know, tragedy results from a moral weakness or the inability to cope with unfortunate circumstances.
In your case, Charlie's autism was completely unexpected and not anyone's fault. From what you communicate in your blog, you and Jim cope quite well with trying circumstances resulting from Charlie's autism.
I doubt you were thrilled to learn that your child had autism. Considering the high level or academic achievement attained by both you and Jim it must have been a blow when your only child turned out to have difficulty communicating verbally and to have virtually no interest in reading. (As an aside I'll add that my husband and I are enthusiastic readers but only one of our three children reads with the same intensity and delight as we do. Our two college student boys have other interests that take precedence to reading and while it's too bad, it's no tragedy.)
Getting back to Charlie, he's a physically beautiful child with an inquisitive mind and a good heart. You could have been REALLY unfortunate and had an ugly kid who was a mean-spirited bully. THAT would have been a tragedy.
I'm aware through reading many books by parents whose autistic children are older than Charlie than learning continues in the twenties, thirties and beyond in the case of some autistic people. There is much that Charlie may be capable of in the years ahead.
I hope that if you decide to give Seneca a hiatus you go ahead with your plans to write a book about your family. Your story is an interesting one and I think a book about Charlie would be quite successful.


You have a way of expressing the very same things I feel about my son. His autism is not a tragedy and I have not "sacrificed" a lot to be his mother (as a friend recently told me). Yes, it's hard--sometimes very hard--but I feel so LUCKY to have him and the life he has given us. I feel as though I know a secret--and I'd love to share it, but I can't. You have to walk in our shoes to know it. Because of him my life is better in ways that are hard to articulate--and I love reading your blog because I feel kindred spirits in you and Charlie and Jim. Thank you!


I can't comment over on Care 2 and don't wish to login to another site.

To answer your question... because they become overwhelmed, depressed and a million other problems happen. Ashley says "well just ask for help"?? Who, what, where, when, why, how... There is nowhere to turn. And if you blast on a blog about how awful it is, how much trouble you are having... the "autism is glorious" crowd calls you all kinds of horrible names... You can't even get help from the very people who have the same dx your child has.

That... is what happens.

Instead of being "horrified"... people need to realize that there are those, that simply can no longer cope. Instead of casting stones... offer help.

Kristina Chew

Certainly we all try to help, in our different and limited ways---

Kristina Chew

@kim, a 'secret' that we know---I often feel like that too, that we've figured out some way of being and living that it wouldn't be so bad for others to at least get a taste of.....


Uh, I don't really think that being overwhelmed and depressed is an excuse to kill a child. I wouldn't call folks all sorts of names for seeking help and support... Plus I don't think the autism is tragic folks really help with that either. Folks should support people, it's true, but I kind of draw the line when it comes to taking things this far.
Also I'd like to learn greek if I ever get around to learning Japanese and trying to take all of the jingles and stupid things out of my head and replace them with lovely Japanese/Mandarin characters.

Kristina Chew

@ synesthesia, Japanese is on my list of languages to learn, 'one of these days.'

regarding reading---on the one hand, I know I'll always feel at least of touch of sorrow about Charlie and reading. On the other hand, I was incapable of imagining life without books and reading until Charlie---reading's not for everyone, not that I ever thought I could say such a thing.

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by Kristina Chew …………………………

Kristina Chew

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