And he recently noticed that our Set deck was missing exactly one of its 81 cards. Since he's autistic, it's no surprise that he deduced, in no time, exactly which combination of shape, color, number, and filling this card had.
Much more surprising was that he succeeded, all by himself, in getting the Set company to send him a replacement.
First he tracked down their website and found a contact person. Then he sent them the following email message:
Subject: Lost card
I have lost a set card. It is 2 purple unshaded, unstriped ovals. Please get me new one. My address is [exact address, properly formatted, complete with zip.]
After receiving back the following reply:
Dear Mr. ,
Please send us a self-addressed stamped envelope with a note stating which card you've lost and we'll be happy to mail it to you with 24-48 hours of receiving your mail.
He tracked down an envelope, put his address and a stamp on it (expressing great enthusiasm for the concept of a self-addressed, stamped envelope), and inserted it into another envelop along with the following message:
He received the card in the mail a few days later.
Katharine Beals, PhD, is the author of "Raising a Left-Brain Child in a Right-Brain World: Strategies for Helping Bright, Quirky, Socially Awkward Children to Thrive at Home and at School" (Shambhala/Trumpeter)
Katharine is an educator and the mother of three left-brain children. She has taught math, computer science, social studies, expository writing, linguistics, and English as a second language to students of all ages, both in the U.S. and overseas. She is also the architect of the GrammarTrainer, a linguistic software program for language impaired children.
She is currently a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and an adjunct professor at the Drexel University School of Education.
This site uses left-brain and right-brainnot as physiological terms for the actual left and right hemispheres of the brain, but as they are employed in the everyday vernacular. They appear here in the same spirit in which people use type A and type B (themselves the relics of a debunked theory about blood type and character type): an informal shorthand for certain bundles of personality traits.