Background to my interest in teaching children with autism


A Rightly Wronged

One day, Felicity was having lunch and (for once) minding his own business, when a booming voice from the far end of the restaurant drowned out the usual ambient noise of lunch-time. The voice demanded: “Have you seen Clockwork Orange?” Felicity’s unnatural curiosity got the better of him, and he turned to see who was being so loud, and at whom. He saw a great hulk of a man striding down the aisle between the tables creating a wake of people bowled over by his determined and forceful advance. And the person this powerful man was looking at and advancing toward was none other than Felicity. He reached Felicity’s table and, glaring ominously down at the tiny child Felicity suddenly imagined himself to be, boomed once more: “Did you see Clockwork Orange?”

Felicity recognized the powerful man standing over him as Leonard, a patient he had seen at the mental hospital where he had formerly worked. While stammering out a weak “no” in answer to the question, Felicity fumbled through the dust-covered and yellowed files of his memory to retrieve what he could about Leonard.

Ah, yes, now he remembered. Leonard had been admitted on many occasions to the hospital, always escorted there by a dozen or so policemen, and always because of some violent act, usually involving a weapon, and frequently a knife. Fortunately, he had not yet killed anybody, but that was only because he was usually in a kind of daze during these episodes and was therefore unable to be accurate in his actions. Felicity tried to focus his attention sharply on Leonard to see if he was in such a daze now. True, his eyes were a little glazed, perhaps with anger, but otherwise he looked to be in full control of his faculties – as full control, that is, as Leonard could achieve.

Felicity remembered that he had been asked to do a psychological assessment of Leonard and that he had administered a battery of tests to him for that purpose. This had to be why Leonard had recognized him and was now talking to him in such an amiable and familiar way. Felicity ran through the ancient file in his mind to see what he had found. ‘Oh dear, he was one of those!’ The ‘those’ referred to demonstrated a high, negative differential index of control on the Differential Diagnostic Technique (DDT). To Felicity, this meant that Leonard was subject to periodic ‘blind’ rages as a result of a complex seizure involving the ‘drive centre’ in the old brain – a condition which has been fabricated in several stories including those about Chester, Chuck, Harry and Hector. The possibility that a ‘blind rage’ was just developing with Felicity as its prospective target did not escape Felicity’s steel trap mind.

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