Looking Up

Below is another of my photos from Burbank in sunnier days.  (It’s been raining since we’ve been here.)  William, my grandson is looking up at me. I think he is asking me something. I am able to understand Will much better these days. He will be three years old next week and, although he communicates […]

I Need A New Metaphor

More processing Those of you following my blog know that I just returned from a visit to my brother Michael, who is autistic, profoundly retarded and nonverbal. In my past few posts I have detailed the visit and its disappointing outcome. I am trying to regroup, using my blog as a forum to articulate ideas […]

Ready, Set… JUMP!

William said his first word to me yesterday. Amazing for a 6 month old, but true. This is how it happened… He was standing on my lap and I made up this game. I said, “Ready… set…. JUMP!!” He seemed to enjoy it, so we just kept playing. I knew he was anticipating the jump, when I […]

Hog Heaven

Today I pigged out at the bookstore. I have given a lot of thought to the idea of communication and language in my attempt to understand the gulf between my autistic, profoundly retarded, nonverbal brother and me. In yesterday’s post I reviewed the basic components of communications systems – without regard to the content of […]

Communication, the Basics

I mentioned in my last post that I am very much interested in communication because of my inability to communicate with Mike, my older brother, who is autistic, profoundly retarded and nonverbal. I would like to discuss the concept of communication in general, see how its underlying principles apply to language, and the problems that […]


Language Managing the task of understanding language – sentences – combinations of words we have never heard before, is an enormous computational task, if we were to program a computer to decipher natural language. Much of what we understand of the spoken word comes from context. In fact, it is often true, that when people […]


I already explored two of the ways I describe my brother on this blog: Autistic, a hot topic everywhere; low functioning (formerly known as retarded), so today’s post will be about the quality of being ‘nonverbal’. There seems to be a range of verbality – a term I just coined. In ‘Jack’s scale’, which I […]


I Love Books I have books all over the house. When I get interested in something, I buy all the books I can find about the subject. Sometimes, when I read a book that references other books, I must get those books as well. For instance, I remember reading The Art of Hunger, a book […]

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