Like and Unlike (#344)
Recovering from Recovery: Autism Now (#346)

Law of Motion (#345)

In odd moments---when I'm standing watching Charlie walking the wooden border of the playground, or sitting beside him on the battered blue-and-white-striped couch as his voice quavers and his body kicks in echoes of the louder crying he had been doing, upset because he could not communicate I want to go this way---I daydream a bit and start to think, what would it be like for Charlie if life was just one continuous stream of being in motion, with 15 minutes stops for eating and switching gear?.
If, after running down the stairs and gulping down "soupy rice!," Charlie could always leap upon his bike and ride for miles and miles with his dad.

If, instead of having to find things to do---reading books (or having them read to him), picking up his toys, clearing the kitchen table---for a couple of hours in the house, most of Charlie's day could be spent in rides in the black car, or the green car, or his grandfather's green car. Or on his bike.

If I may apply Newton's first Law of Motion:

Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed.

("Perseveres" and "perseverate" come from the same Latin root word, perseverus, "very strict.")

Were it not for Jim and me and Charlie's many teachers and therapists, would Charlie pause a bit to learn skills that might help him refine his motion?

No wonder Charlie does not simply love the ocean. The ocean is him. I think Charlie could stare at it forever, except something impels him to strip off his shirt and dive in, head into and one with the water.
And no wonder Charlie can bike for eleven miles, standing up in the pedals, muscled legs pumping, but still needs Jim's gentle shoulder-touch and "stop sign, squeeze the brakes" to stop from heading into oncoming traffic.

If I may cite Newton's third Law of Motion:

To any action there is always an opposite and equal reaction; in other words, the actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal and always opposite in direction.

After stopping under Jim's careful eye, Charlie is raring to go and explore new streets and new territory. First, though, he casts a fast glance backwards, to make sure his dad is bringing up the rear before Charlie pedals on into new directions.



Strong kid you have there. 11 miles is a LONG way. Consider me extraordinarily impressed.

Like Charlie, I'm very motion oriented...the first time I saw the ocean, a little older than a year, I stared and then ran into it (in January. What temperature perception problems?) Since, I've welcomed every opportunity to see and be in the ocean.

Gymnastics has been my world for ages because it's that motion...and it feels good to at least have consistant control of how I move, to the point of bringing awe from others, when I lost it for a while and other control-being verbal all the time, that whole fine motor thing-isn't consistant at all.

I wonder if Charlie thinks better in motion...I've never met anyone as motion oriented as I am, but Charlie might come close.

Kristina Chew

"Thinking better in motion"---I like how you put that. I rather think he does. Car rides (not too long) also seem to help; I think he has trouble getting out of the car sometimes because he is in still in "motion mode" and does not want to get out of it. He'll run into the ocean regardless of the temperature, for sure.


Your two special guys are strong that's for sure! I wish I could ride that far, that would be totally cool! Two very healthy guys!
K.C. has to be in motion constantly, if he is still, he's always rocking back and forth on his feet. He is simply a wreck if he isn't keeping busy. I know what you mean about thinking better in motion, it's so true!


My hunch is that motion allows him to concentrate - it turns on the frontal lobes of the brain, and therefore the parts of the brain that are involved in self-regulation. I wanted to connect this to Aristotle, but can't, other than to remark on the fact that he was also in motion.

I wonder if there wont be a chance for him to live a life in motion, even if it isn't biking everywhere. One doctor at the Mayo Clinic works while walking on his treadmill very slowly (0.7 miles / hr). He has his computer set up in front of him, and he walks all day while he writes. Maybe whatever Charlie does when he's older will be something that doesn't require him to sit still for long, but instead is something he can do while peripatetic.

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