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Day 122

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

One of my favorite things about living in Highland Park was the library. I must have gushed over it one too many times because my cousin Amanda would ask, “How’s suburban life, besides the fact that you love the library?”

They had these free story time classes for children. I took Constance to Tales for Tots. One of the children’s librarians would theatrically read a story with puppets, sound effects, and toys. Children sat in a circle riveted for the next page. After the story, there was a group activity inspired by the book and then educational play. The class concluded with clean up.

The first time I took Constance, she walked up to the librarian and tried to take the book from her hand. Being hyperlexic, Constance wanted to silently read it to herself. I scooped her up, apologized, and put Constance on my lap. One of the techniques for managing a squirmy child is providing them with sensory input.

Things that can help regulate sensory input include: sitting in a chair with sides, a beanbag chair, a furry blanket, a weighted blanket or lap weight, a hug, a tickle, jumping on a trampoline, swinging in a swing, etc. Over the course of Constance’s life, we gave her all of those things. The most natural thing is a hug, as parents constantly hug their babies anyway. With Constance on my lap, I hugged her and whispered to her that she can look at the book on her own after the librarian was done with it.

Another mom, Alice, said, “She’s fine, my son did the same thing the first time we came.” I said, “She’s an only child,” as a justification. I appreciated Alice’s kind words but I still wished Constance would retrain her enthusiasm for possessing literature for the 10 minutes it took the librarian to read the book to the group.

When the kiddos broken into groups later, I was reassured by that fact that Constance didn’t engage in any of the types of play associated with a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. She didn’t make sophisticated buildings, line things up, compulsively play with trains or cars, etc.

Constance loved the library. She loved getting to select any books she wanted to take home. I used to joke that her fantasy would be being locked in the library overnight with nothing but the stacks, a box of apple juice, and a cheese pizza. We had so many happy memories at the library. When I think of the library, I feel the bittersweet feeling of knowing how much she loved it and that she’ll never get to enjoy it again. It is remarkable that a broken heart can ache.

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Unknown member
Jul 15, 2018

Day 123 is at

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