The Funny Papers

There are a lot of cool things about Jack. I think we all know that. He also has certain…issues. We all know that too. One place where the cool and the issues collide is right smack in the middle of the skill of handwriting.

Jack produces a lot of illegible handwriting. The fine motor skills are there—you’ll see them in a minute—but he has some problems. I think to Jack, handwriting is either totally utilitarian, difficult, and a pain in the ass (hence, rushed and unreadable writing) or a work of art.

I’m here to tell you about the work of art aspect of his handwriting.

When something is important to Jack, he takes the time to make it just what he wants it to be. Words for example. Sometimes words shouldn’t be just letters, but they should show you what the core of the thought means. Jack is around to show you what those thoughts are in the form of tiny little pictures imbedded in his letters.

Moon, for instance.

I especially like that the picture needed a label…of the word.

And has anyone ever told you that the sun is hot? Like really, really hot? Like fiery, burning hot? Well, if no one else ever has, Jack will.

In case you were wondering, those are fiery letters.*

If you are going to, say, write the word “cute” to describe something, maybe you should really hammer home the idea that the thing really is cute.

How better to do that than to turn the word “cute” into a kitten?

In addition to having trouble with handwriting, it is sometimes hard for Jack to use words to describe things. An easier way for him to communicate what he means sometimes is through pictures. I love that he’s figured out this way to get his point across. I’m just concerned that the state assessment tests may not accept awesome drawings as proof that Jack is as smart as he is.

If I were grading this answer, however, I would give it an A.

I would also label his snake picture as “cute”—and
I would draw a kitten in the word.

I include this next picture, because it is so expertly damn drawn, even if I don’t approve of the sentiment, which I’m pretty sure is that he thinks his teacher is being irrationally strict. (Because I know her and she’s not.)

I don’t think I could put that much emotion into stick figures though.

Sometimes Jack doesn’t need to use pictures to get his point across. His word play on this next math assignment shows so clearly how smart Jack is and on how many levels his brain is working at all times. That kid blows me away Every. Single. Day.

Paranthe C’s = parenthesis
X. Pression = expression

This kind of stuff is exactly what I am talking about when I say that I love the way autism makes Jack’s brain work. I don’t know other kids who do this. I mean, I’m sure there are, but to me, Jack is such a unique and precious mind.

I’m a lucky mom to be kept so amused and amazed by my incredible child.

* For the record, I had a hard time figuring out how to spell “fiery” too.


If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to try to photograph my three kids all at once, head over to to find out.

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