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Working with Daryl one-on-one required that I approach experience on his terms—autism has a way of transforming everything it touches—and they were fascinating terms indeed. Like many people deeply affected by autism, Daryl had echolalia. This meant he would often repeat the last word he heard or else vocalize nonsense sounds for the palliative effect. If no one engaged him directly, he was perfectly content to sit in a corner, playing with his fingers and enjoying the sound of his gibberish. Some sounds had developed, over the course of his life, into private mantras, and I became familiar with them all. The most common went something like: "Par-ee-ah shee-ah poor . . . pie . . . shocko pie, shocko pie . . . koat pie . . ."
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