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Sample text

Jamie and I tried to follow a healthy diet ourselves, but Dale was having none of that. There wasn’t an approach or piece of advice I hadn’t followed to encourage him to eat, but none worked. If I introduced so much as a single pea or slice of carrot, he would protest by vomiting at will. More worryingly, he would sometimes choose to regurgitate food simply if things were not going his way. He also would only refuel himself like a car running out of gas about twice a day. My mum got him to drink liquid when he learned to like milky tea without sugar, and to this day Dale has never refused the offer of a cup of tea.

When coming home from the park, he would drag her to the entrance of the station, and she would always apply the appropriate word, albeit a very simple one, to describe what she saw. ” He had doubled his vocabulary! Dale’s fascination with hubcaps reaped further benefits. I wasn’t embarrassed to sit on the pavement with him as he scrutinized a hubcap of particular interest. I would give a simple running commentary, always trying to reinforce the names of things and what he was doing with them: “This is a wheel.

Then, as he took me to inspect another car, I would hold back a little to get his attention. “Car, Dale. ” He would attempt to pull me toward the car and I would repeat my words, so that with each step he learned that it was the car he wanted to see. ” I excitedly confirmed, “Yes, Dale, car. ” On seeing my delight, Dale repeated his new little word over and over. qxd:Layout 1 5/6/08 10:30 AM Page 27 A Lonely Battle one he had pointed out to me. The new toy and my praise delighted him. Heartened though I was with Dale’s growing collection of little cars, there was no denying that the occasional words he now echoed back to us were always spoken without expression or intention to communicate.

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