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Not All Railroad Crossings are Created Equal

My husband Dave and I took a vacation. Nothing fancy: a weekend in Ann Arbor to enjoy the restaurants, shopping, and parks and to explore the surrounding areas. One of my patients, nine- year-old Trevor, has been passionate about railroad crossings throughout the two years that I have known him. At school they used pictures of railroad crossings as reinforcers. If Trevor completed X amount of work, then he could find a picture of a railroad crossing on the Internet and print a copy for himself. Trevor always brought his latest pictures to our sessions together. Initially, it was difficult to discuss anything besides railroad crossings with Trevor. He seemed to enjoy the way the words felt as he said them and would say the words “railroad crossing” whenever possible.

Trevor’s birthday was coming up, so while driving the back roads around Ann Arbor, I made Dave stop frequently so I could photograph the railroad crossings we stumbled upon.

When we got home, I ignored the more mundane chores and got to work importing my photos of railroad crossings and making a collage for Trevor.

I placed the finished product in a decorated envelope with the words, “Happy Birthday Trevor” brightly drawn on the front.

Trevor came to his appointment the next afternoon. With much anticipation, I produced the envelope. He took out the sheets of 8½ by 11 photo papers with the carefully arranged photos of railroad crossings. He looked at me sympathetically and said, “I only like Australian railroad crossings now—oh, and Roman numeral clocks.”

—S.B.

 

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