Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

PSYCHOTHERAPY BEYOND THE FRINGE, continued

            Like most people I know, Felicity was born some years before he grew up.  If you wonder how many years it has been since he was born, the answer depends on who you are.  Everything is relative.  If you happen to be a client, you will want him to be and to look older than he is and does not — which, of course, he is and does not.  If you are not a client and you are male, he would state with conviction that he is older than he looks.  If you are not a client and you are female, he would state with certainty that he seems older than he is.  And if you are none of the above, with as much assurance as I have about your identity, he would affirm with a definite maybe that he is every bit as old as he should be.  One thing is sure.  By western standards, he was born on a truly auspicious date, namely, 7/11.  Of course, if you’re American, this means he was born in July; whereas, if you’re British, it means he was born in November.  It seems only right that you should be yourself, even if you are none of the above.

            When he was born, he was named.  Although we could dispense with it, in case you were wondering how he got his name, let’s get that unpleasantness out of the way.  His mother had a number of character traits which endeared her to nobody.  In particular, three of her traits left Felicity just plain cold.  These were her impatience, her assurance that if she had even a passing thought it was bound to be absolutely true (probably justified to her by her acquired surname), and her insistence that nothing interfere with the serenity of her life.  That’s how he got his name.             

            During the entire time of her ‘confinement’, his mother was absolutely convinced that Felicity was a girl.  Not even his wizened, prune‑like appearance when he emerged and his extra little gizmo could shake her unfailing belief.  Of course, having decided on his gender in advance, her impatience demanded that he be named long before birth.  That’s how he got girl’s names.  I suppose it was to ensure that he got the message to behave himself, and not to upset her in any way, that she dubbed him Felicity.  She added the other names out of spite, to get back at him for having failed to be a girl.  Alice and Connie were his two, much despised, spinster aunts.  Their dislike for his aunts Alice and Connie was the only subject on which his parents and he were ever known to agree.     

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