A fictional look into the world of autism, a new writing project for Hobbs

SavannahStoriesFoxcroft Academy senior Savannah Hobbs’ new writing project is “Third Grade Life Lessons”

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Foxcroft Academy senior Savannah Hobbs, whose novel “Third Grade Life Lessons” was published in 12 parts by the Piscataquis Observer last year and is now available on Amazon.com, has begun a new major writing project. While “Third Grade Life Lessons” was about three main characters affected in different ways by bullying at school, Hobbs has now tackled the subject of autism. Using multiple first-person narrators (an ambitious undertaking for any writer), she will be creating a fictional look into the world of autism through the eyes of Jasen, a boy who has autism, and through the eyes of his parents and siblings.

    Each week or so, Hobbs will be releasing a new section, beginning with the chapter below, which is told from the perspective of Jasen’s mother, Patricia.
    Mom (Patricia): We noticed something wrong with three-year-old Jasen: he wasn’t talking, he lashed out whenever he was frustrated, and he wasn’t interested in playing with his siblings. Janey is at that age, terrible twos, where she doesn’t want to play with her brothers, and everything is “hers.” Brion, five, will run around the house all day, playing with toys and being underfoot all the time. But Jasen, Jasen will sit in his room and play with his cars for hours. It’s a hassle to get him to do anything.
    Mark and I talked about taking Jasen to a specialist, and we decided that was the best thing to do. We called my mother to babysit Janey and Brion, and we took Jasen to see a doctor one of my work colleges told me about. The doctor took Jasen into a room where she tested him, then she called us back. Jasen was increasingly aggravated for some reason, he started screaming. The doctor went over to him and talked to him, and he quieted down. Then she came back over to the table and resumed the conversation.
    “Jasen is autistic, he is nonverbal,” she tells us. I am devastated. I thought this was just an acting out problem. Every mother wants a healthy and normal child – to find out that Jasen has Autism, is just, it’s devastating. She introduces us to techniques we can implement at home, like putting him on a routine, and using speech cards so he can communicate. The doctor also said that sign language is a good option. She mentioned other things as well, such as medication, which I vehemently opposed.
    Mark and I took Jasen home after that. I couldn’t stop crying, and it was upsetting Jasen. At home, my mother and Janey were baking cookies, Jasen just reached up and took some batter off the tray. Janey freaked out, crying that it was her batter and her cookies. I am just too tired and stressed to deal with this. I give Jasen a finished cookie, taking away the batter. I lead Jasen to his room and give him some of his cars. He is perfectly happy to play with his toys until dinner time. Mark and I have to make a schedule for Jasen and make other adjustments for him, and also look into a sign language teacher or class for children with nonverbal autism.

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