Teacher Professor

May 5, 2010

Interviewing Mother

Filed under: Autism — Teacher Professor @ 1:40 pm

I just finished watching Joshua Littman’s interview with his mother- captured by Story Corps and put to film by the Rauch Bros.

I got teary at how intensely he feels things- and how he’s tried to cope with them by asking his mother questions.  In this short 4-minute clip, he works through sibling rivalry, worry that he’s disappointed his mother, questions about feeling different- and I am amazed how he is able to use his obsession with animals as the bridge to all of those “hard” questions. 

In his mother’s voice, I hear all of the love and worry and the constant reframing that we mothers do for our children.  It is perhaps her reframing that I admire most.  She doesn’t shy away from how hard it is- but phrases it as “learning”.  She reframes his sister Amy’s socialability and different social interactions as a “girl thing” and reframes the emphasis onto the quality of friendships that he has.  She reframes the challenges into how he’s so much more than she expected.  I hear the words MY mother used when I was 12, 18, 20, heck 42!- struggling to figure out where I fit in.  I do not hear the word “autism”.  I do not hear the word “disability”. 

I hear, in this short 4 minutes, how Joshua is struggling to find his place in the “family of things” (as Mary Oliver says), while being reassured about his place in his own family.

I hear words that I can use when these questions are asked.  Even if they’re never spoken- the questions will be asked.


  1. fantastic post. educative for us all. fantastic youtube clip from story corps. Amazing!

    Comment by zola — May 5, 2010 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  2. WOW!! I love this!

    Comment by Tracy — May 7, 2010 @ 5:20 am | Reply

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