Old journal entry

Just came across a journal entry from December 2012, when Frances was five (and playing Minecraft every day). 

I remember having to stifle a giggle during the following conversation:

Me: Hi, Frances. How are you, my darling?

Her: Don’t go in the lava or you’ll burst into flames. 

Her struggle with pragmatic language (everyday social stuff) was really unknown to us at that point. 

We didn’t yet know that she had ASD, but we did think her responses to questions (or, commonly, the lack thereof) were often unusual.

Mostly, questions such as “How are you?” were left unanswered; at other times, her language reflected either an interest or curiosity out of context to the people, the things, or the circumstances, within her environment. 

For example, “Did you hear me say I love you?” might have been met with, “Do chickens eat more than corn?”

We actually still work on pragmatic language with her, but this journal entry reminds me that she has come a long, long way in four years!


Frances is five years old here. (She still loves the game.)


When she was five, Frances might sometimes say something to others outside the family, but it was just to correct their grammar or other mistakes. Oftentimes, I was the one corrected (as in the above panel).

Sleep talking

At that point in her life, she didn’t greet anyone or acknowledge being spoken to at all; yet, she has been actively taught these social expectations over the past three years and is still learning.

(She is five years old in this panel.)

Our resident philosopher 

Here, at the age of five, Frances asks a question that probably would make others uncomfortable to some degree — this query and the words that follow are examples of typical conversation: a question is posed, there is no waiting for an answer before speaking again. (I think the question itself lines up with her interest in the idea of consciousness and what it could mean.)


Vintage quote

Today’s vintage quote is from November 17, 2012, when Frances was five years old.

We were getting out of the car to go into the house when she asked one of those questions that make her sound like a little philosopher.

Frances: Is this real or am I dreaming? How can you tell the difference between being awake and dreaming?