Random statements by Tommy regarding chicken.

Today, as we were eating a chicken lunch with guests Cousin Iain, Uncle Chris and Walter, Tommy noticed me wearing a new black t-shirt with horizontal white stripes. (This is Tommy’s mom, MaryAnn 

Tommy: You’re nice in your zebra striped shirt!

(looks at me eating chicken, then adds):
Zebras don’t eat chicken. They’re vegetarians!

Then he added: Only white tigers eat chicken.

So…I guess the next time I eat meat I best not wear this shirt. Didn’t think of this contradiction. Thank goodness he pointed it out to me. Whew!

Gonna go shop for a shirt that makes me look like a white tiger. Cause, well, I kinda like chicken.

Also on February 23, 2014
Random Math announcement by Tommy, while cooking free range organic chickens for lunch:

Tommy (thinking about Math after overhearing Cousin Iain discussing which Math classes he is taking in preparation to study Engineering at university in a couple of years): I don’t like 21+21=42. I can’t eat 42 organic free range chickens.

Yes, that would likely be too many chickens to eat. Yes, indeed.

The Magic Couch (on which dogs can fly!)

Adel goes nearly everywhere with Tommy. But sometimes, for various reasons, she can’t go along. For example, he is about to go rock climbing right now. She can’t climb, and it’s just way too cold for her to stay in the car. At moments like this, lately, with much emotion, he always says the same thing to her.”Stay, Adel. STAY. Go back, Adel, stay, stay! Don’t follow me to rock climbing [or insert place here]. Stay, stay.”

He then regretfully adds,

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get mad at Adel.”

Tommy’s Autism Guide Dogs never went to school with him. He always found it sad to leave them behind. He went through a phase where he would put Sara, his first dog, in the bathroom, for safekeeping, and say to her, sadly and lovingly,

“So long, old pal.” (quoting Mickey, leaving Pluto behind, in one of his beloved Mickey cartoons.)

When Tommy was about 10 years old, he began traveling across the city daily to attend school at an Autism Class (after many attempts to attend his neighbourhood schools proved unsuccessful, due to unwillingness to accommodate Tommy). Each day, he put Sara on our couch. He called it the Magic Couch. He expressed, in what little language he had then, that Sara would fly on the magic couch all the way to Featherston School (a half hour away by car) and watch over him at school.

Tommy’s dogs have been such a blessing. Sara, blind since the age of 4, is approaching her 15th birthday on Jan 24! She is living with Tommy’s Grandma and Grampa, along with Matrix, his 2nd Dog Guide. Sara naps most of the day. On a magic carpet on their family room floor. I’m sure in her dreams, she is still following him and hovering nearby, keeping watch over his adventures. With her feeble old legs, she couldn’t hop up onto a couch now if she tried! But she sure seems to be having happy dreams in that comfy dog bed of hers, that I just know doubles as a magic carpet.

Thanks, Sara, Matrix, and Adel, for always taking care of Tommy, even when he is off on his adventures. Dogs, especially labradors (and even Damatians covered in soot, hiding from Cruella) well, you are all just the best friends ever.

If you would like to know more about Tommy’s Autism dogs, and their role in his life, read here:



Like ·  · Share · January 7 at 5:10pm ·

Tommy texts are assisted communication

January 24, 2014

I was eating dinner last night, a huge wonderful salad Tommy made, along with Tommy and Peter, and I received a text message.

Now before you jump to the conclusion that it’s rude to text during dinner, please remember that Tommy is much more at ease, and converses much better, in writing than in speech. Which is why he loves Facebook chats, texting, and all things written. And why we write him stories, called Social Stories, to help him process all the things that are happening, will happen, or have happened. So for Tommy, the iPhone is an Assistive Communication Device. It is also a safety device with its GPS. And his google to look up the many words he hears all day long, to find out what they mean, now that he is seeking the definition of all the words he doesn’t yet know. And it is his note taking place for the long, detailed diary he writes all day long, chronicling every minute thing that happens to him. And his note pad for copying the Power Point notes at the University of Ottawa class he is auditing. It is so many amazing things! You get my point.

Anyhow, back to my original story.

The text was from Tommy. And it said: “Eat up. You want to grow big and strong like me, don’t you?”

Oh, Tommy! If only a big salad could make me as strong as you  Would I also have to spend 4-5 hours a day working out? Cause that just might not happen!! lol 

Tommy’s Cat in the Hat hat

January 21, 2014

Cat in the Hat hats. Best worn daily, all the time, for biggest impact.

That’s what Tommy did, for a few years, as a preschooler. There was no convincing him otherwise. And, also, no good reason to try to convince him otherwise. Especially since that crazy hat made spotting him as he ran away in crowds, etc, much easier. Before he got his first guide dog, that hat was a life saver sometimes! Not to mention a terrific fashion statement.

And so, when we got to Dr. Seuss Land, and Tommy saw on in the gift shop, we took a little trip down memory lane. 

Like= I think that, like Tommy, I’ll wear that hat too. It certainly looks like a fun thing to do. I’ll wear a big hat and I’ll say things that rhyme. And people will smile with me all of the time.


Disney lines as life lines

February, 2014

Since November, Tommy’s big brother Paul, and his adorable little girlfriend (fiancee) Laura have worked for Ottawa’s Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, doing travelling zoo shows all over Eastern Canada, returning to Ottawa on days off. Their comings and goings have been frequent and unpredictable, as their schedule is quite varied.

Tommy is always happy to see them, but it’s hard to say goodbye. Lately, he expresses these feelings by saying, frequently, loudly, and somewhat angrily, “I told Paul and Laura to pack up their stuff and leave for their travelling zoo show!!!” He was saying this over and over tonight, and Peter asked him to stop saying it. To which Tommy replied “SILENCE, you old fool!” (Knowing this had to be a movie quote, I googled it, and found it is from Frollo, Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Later, after he went to bed, he texted me asking when they would be here next. I texted back that they might be back on March 10 or 11. To which he texted “March 10th, 2014! I’m running this place, and if Paul and Laura think they’re gonna fiddle with my schedule, they’d better pack up their stuff and be gone!”
followed shortly afterwards by another text: “What do I mean “I’m running this place, and if Paul and Laura think they’re gonna fiddle with my schedule, they’d better pack up their stuff and be gone!”? (again- movie quote, googled it, and found Sword in the Stone: Merlin: I have come to educate the Wart.
Sir Ector: Oh, no, you don’t. I’m running this place, and if you think you’re gonna fiddle with my schedule, you’d better pack up your bag of tricks and be gone!
[Merlin promptly disappears]
Sir Ector: What? Well, by Jove! Hey, he’s gone.
Kay: Hm? Good riddance.
Merlin: [disembodied voice] I’m gone, but then, I’m not gone. Heh-heh-heh. So if I do leave, you can never be sure that I am gone, can you?
Sir Ector: Well, uh… heh-heh-heh-heh… Well, I must say, you… got me there, Marvin. Uh, heh. Yes, well, you win. You’re welcome to stay if you like.
Merlin: [appearing suddenly] Thank you. You’re very kind. Very generous, I must say.

Tommy’s unique way of expressing things led to another interesting moment a few weeks ago, when Laura arrived at the house, back from a zoo trip a few hours before Paul, since they rode in separate zoo vehicles that day. They usually get home together.

Tommy was outside, getting ready to leave for the track with his dad, when Laura arrived. He always gives Laura a huge hug when he sees her, but this time, when she greeted him, he said, quite matter of factly,

“I don’t have time.”

Laura and I asked him “You don’t have time for what?”

Tommy replied “I don’t have time for Field Zoologists.”

(I will save you the googling…it’s Shere Khan: I can’t be bothered with that, I have no time for that nonesense.)

Joy on a Treadmill

From upstairs, I can overhear Tommy in the basement. The rhythmic pound of his energetic treadmill run, as Disney music creates a magical ambience. One moment, “Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height…Let’s go fly a kite, and send it soaring…” is clearly heard, and moments later, “It’s a Small World, after all..” The usual assortment of his favourite tunes bringing that joyous smile to his face as he trains, undeterred, as though The First Fastest Runner in the World medal indeed awaits him  But the true reward is the unbridled joy of the moment, and the movement, and the exhilaration of simply being excited to be alive!And then, I overhear Tommy loudly, and oh so happily exclaim,
“Mom calls to me “Go, Tommy, Go!!!”

And I instantly know that every single time I have cheered for him, with pride, from the sidelines, camera in hand, he has heard me. And known how much he is loved.

And I smile. And decide that I should share it.

And I’m thankful that Tommy’s friends will know why my heart is bursting with pride. And that they’ll be glad I shared 

And then, after typing all this, I hear Peter, singing along with wreckless abandon in the basement, “M-I-C-K-E-Y…M-O-U-S-E!!!”

And I know that Tommy has the best dad in the whole wide world.