Dr. James MacDonald 332 Mimring Columbus, Ohio 43202 Phone/Fax 614 447-0768 macdonaldj86@gmail.com

Communicating Partners

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Helping Parents Help Children. Programs for Parents, Therapists & Educators


Here is a poem that reflects the stories and observations of many parents of autistic children we have known:

I tell my little boy
sit still, do something, look at me
He keeps running and
he keeps touching, and
he keeps moving on.
I don’t know what he is doing.

Where’s that little boy who
was such a "good" baby?
He used to let me hug
and kiss him
Now he doesn’t let anyone
touch him much
And he hardly ever
shows me love.

What can I do when
he runs around in circles?
It makes my head spin
around in circles
Do I have to make him stop?
Can I?

When he just looked at me I melted.
And he got his way too much.
So I lost him for awhile
until I learned to stick to my guns.

For a long time I have wanted him to talk;
now I just want him to look at me.
I want him to make me feel he cares
I want him to care more about people than

He talks to himself a lot sometimes
So I know he knows something.
Why doesn’t he tell me about it?
He knows a lot but nobody else will believe me.

Then I learned neither of us could run the show.
He had to learn to be a partner,
and First I had to be his.
I tried to be a teacher.

I taught him colors and numbers,
But he stayed alone even more.
How will colors and numbers
Help him become a person?

Then I learned to play with him.
I kept him with me--I just wanted anything--safe.
I wanted to feel like a human being with him.
That’s my job--to get him to treat people like
human beings.

He resisted at first--kicked and hit.
I’ll have none of that--he lost his freedom for
I wanted and accepted anything he did
Then I did something like it and kept it going.

He still resisted and tried to escape
But now he was looking at me,
Especially when I acted like him.

And for now, I didn’t need words yet.
His looks were worth more
Than diamonds to me
And I knew we were on our way.

James MacDonald


Dr. James MacDonald 332 Mimring Columbus, Ohio 43202 Phone/Fax (614)447-0768 macdonaldj86@gmail.com