Now and Then

When I was around my brother, I always tried to make contact.

Jack reaching out to Mike

I never quite knew if I was successful, though. My older brother Mike has never spoken. He is autistic and very low functioning. I fault myself sometimes for perhaps requiring too much of a sign from him to indicate a connection.Jack intervening with his hand between Mike's hand and his chest

Mike had a habit of hitting his chest among other more self-abusive actions. Doctors and therapists debated whether he was on the Tourette Syndrome spectrum, so it isn’t clear if these movements were complex motor tics or just habits.

Sometimes I would rub his chest, which seemed to have a callus – if that is even possible. I haven’t seen Mike in quite a while, but I seem to remember a kind of gentleness when I intervened.


That is contact of a sort.


Isn’t it?

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