Monday Mundane (i.e., good)
More on the Not a Toddler In a Teenage Body Topic


My parents leaving on Wednesday and extreme heat (around 100 degrees): Too much for a sensitive boy of many feelings.

It was a big and messy behavior storm.

Charlie had had one of not quite such magnitude at the end of a happy school day, to the point that his teacher called me. It was 2.15pm and Charlie's bus was waiting but it wasn't clear if he could take it. But he pulled through and made it home.

The evening storm began with Charlie banging his iPad on the wall and then a lot more with his head. We were just glad to get him to the point where, sobbing, shaking, amid the wreckage of his room, all that could be heard was our assurances that 'we all love Charlie' and 'we're together' and (Jim's latest) 'one team.'

(A phrase evoking immediate images in my head of team USA wearing cowboy hats at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.)

Charlie sobbed 'Barney' once and then for his iPad and sat with it in the brown chair with Jim across from him and my mom and I restored Charlie's room to order to the soundtrack from Wiggle Bay.

He was ok for a walk and then went to bed and called me to sit beside him. We did 'type b ocean' and at one point, I spelled out s-h-o and before I could say the next letter, Charlie did something he has not done before, not just typing what I said but filling in the rest on his own, saying o-o-e.

It was a misspelling, shooe.

But, at the risk of reading too much into three letters, it was a first instance of Charlie spelling on his own.

He was soon asleep, the iPad in its spot beside him on the bed where his Barney and Alphabert used to be.



Sam Fleischner

Hi everyone, my name is Sam Fleischner, I'm a director of films and music videos. In November 2009, I read an NY Times article about a 13 year-old boy with Autism who ran away from home, riding the NYC subway for 11 days. The story captivated me and a year later I reached out to meet the family in hopes of learning more about their experience.

With their help, I spent the next two years developing the screenplay, STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS, the adventure of an outsider kid looking for his place, and trying to survive a system that wasn’t designed for him. I am reaching out to the Autism community for support and collaboration. As a film that will illuminate the multi-faceted nature of Autism in a positive light, I hope to engage individuals and organizations that work to spread awareness and raise funds for research.

Check out our Vimeo ( and Facebook pages to share with friends, and help support this project! If you have any questions it, send me an email at -- thanks guys!

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