annie blog

Autism Repost #3: Lumps Over My Heart


This is another repost for Autism Awareness Month.

Originally, it was posted on August 21, 2006.  So, 7 years ago.  James was nine.

Interesting note about his knowledge about body terminology — he still doesn’t know the common word for womens’ breasts.  In the tenth grade…how many boys are like that?  The reason that I know is that he’s currently reading a book in English called, Speak.  He has to list and define words from the book that he doesn’t understand.  So, I saw that he had written “boob” as one of his words.

Do you know how he defined it?  Boob — n.  a stupid person; fool; dunce.

So, still not all that clear on terminology.  Oh, well.


Lumps Over My Heart

After dinner, we were out in the backyard. Jon was playing with #2 and #3, #4 was running around and I was sitting on the steps talking to James.

Oh, that boy.

He noticed the strap of my bra peeping out of my sleeveless shirt and an interesting conversation ensued.

James (pointing) : What’s this?
Me: Something I wear under my clothes. Women wear them.


James:Do you wear it for the lumps that you have over your heart?

Lumps that I have over my heart?!

Bless him. He is slowly understanding his world.

So now, the dilemma. Where do I start informing this, basically, guile-less child without giving him lots of terminology that I’m afraid that he would throw around without care for how it is received?

I have to think about this stuff.

Do I want him to know and use the word “breast”?

No, I don’t think that I do right now. Why? Because, this is the child who asks androgenous-looking people what they are. He asks old people if they are old and how their ears got so tall. He tells people that they are not skinny. He does none of this to hurt their feelings — but talking to people like this isn’t good. But it would be so much worse if he asked someone how her breasts got so big, small, waistlength, fill in the blank.

Yes, I think that we’ll just leave it at “lumps over my heart”. That’ll hopefully be okay.

Lumps over my heart. Lumps in my heart. Lumps in my throat.  I think that I’ve got them all.


  1. Oh, goodness my Sam sounds so much like your James. I can so relate to the lumps in your heart and throat…as well as the way the words would come squirting out 🙂

  2. Oh that’s rich. I don’t remember reading this one before. I LOVE your stories, Annie.

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