[implied ABA]

Day 2 prompt is Flap.

Eliot and Jake are about 4 years old in this one.


"Come on Jake, say hello," Mommy encourages.

Jake shakes his head no and rocks on his heels lightly, looking at the floor. Eliot looks on sadly, hating his brother's discomfort.

"Hello," Eliot says to the stranger looming over them, intimidated, hoping that maybe Mommy will back off if he says it instead of Jake.

"Eliot, you already said hello. Now it's Jake's turn," Mommy says sternly.

"It's alright," the stranger says. She has a soft voice, but Eliot doesn't like her. "We'll work on that. That's what I'm here for, isn't it?"

"Yes," Mommy answers. "Eliot, come on, we're going to the store."

"But Jake?" Eliot asks, seeing his brother rock harder in panic. He makes fists with his hands and hits them together, noiselessly.

"We'll leave Jake with the nice lady. She's here to help him."

But… Eliot wants to say. Jake doesn't talk. He can't say what he needs if Eliot's isn't there.

"Don't worry Eliot, your brother will be fine," the lady says.

Eliot doesn't believe her. He shakes his head vigorously. "I don't want to go," he says.

"We're going, Eliot," Mommy takes his arm firmly. Eliot shudders and tries to shakes her off. Jake makes an aborted gesture toward him.

"You're gonna be okay," Eliot murmurs to him, resisting Mommy's pull. "We'll be back soon. You can do this."

Jake claps his fists together again, shaking his head. Eliot raises his own fist to bump it lightly on his brother's.

He looks back as Mommy pulls him away. The stranger kneels in front of Jake and grabs his hands, forcing them back to his sides. "Quiet hands," she says.

Eliot looks down at his own free hand, discreetly flapping, and stills it sadly.

Jake didn't speak until about 5, so he was diagnosed early on, but Eliot fell through the cracks of the system because he masked better than his brother.

I wanted to do something cute for this prompt, but this came instead. I recently translated Julia Bascom's beautiful text "Quiet Hands" into French, so I guess that was an influence for this prompt. Go read it, it's a really great text about the wrongness of ABA and forcing autistic people to conform and stop stimming (I can't put in a link, but her blog is called Just Stimming).

You can also find me on Tumblr (theemmaarthur).