Posted by: E (The Third Glance) | March 12, 2012

Autistic Childhood Anecdotes, part 1

I recently went out with a group of friends/coworkers for an event. It was related to one of my special interests and great fun. We often carpool when we go to things like this, and on the way back, there was a conversation going on in the car, in which one of the 4 of us was being incredibly sarcastic. This person is quite often sarcastic, and we have a hard time communicating, since we’re often speaking 2 different languages (English and Sarcasm). I made some comment about needing a sarcasm sign whenever she said something sarcastic, just like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory. Another person in the car, one who is a licensed psychologist, and who has known me for almost 2 years then commented “E, I think you probably have some type of Autism, on the high-functioning end of the spectrum. I could confirm that if I had just a little bit of information about you as a child.”

Of course, I’m thinking (sarcastically) “gee, Sherlock, how’d you figure that one?” – I don’t go out of my way to tell people that I am Autistic, but I don’t go out of my way to hide it that much (anymore), either. But I was thinking “yeah, and I could tell you everything you need to know about me as a child, and then some…” And so, just for grins, I thought I’d share a few of those things that I did as a child that could be both diagnostic and sometimes amusing. Some of these are my recollections, however many of them are things my mother has told me about more recently (within the last 10 years). These all pertain to me when I was a very young child, mostly before I started kindergarten, though many of them are still true today. The list is by no means exhaustive (got 4-8 hours to read a nearly 50,000 word ramble? It’s been written…), but it does include some entertaining anecdotes. Enjoy!

  • When I was a little baby, I rarely cried. My mother tells me that when she went to go check on me after naps, when I’d been down for hours without a peep, that she would walk in and discover me awake, entertaining myself, even when I was only a few weeks/months old
  • I would refuse to leave my crib/bed until after I had folded my blankets and lined up my stuffed animals just so. This was (apparently) completely my own design – my mother claims she never did this for me, so I wasn’t just following her lead. If she removed me before the ritual was done, there would be a meltdown.
  • I was a premie baby (though not by much), born at just over 5 pounds. I lacked the reflex to turn my head and latch on when my cheek was stroked. And I HATED eating. They almost admitted me to the hospital for “failure to thrive” on several occasions. Even as I got older, I was very picky about food. This is a subject for another post, but let’s just say that food was a constant battle growing up. My mother likes to attribute my dislike of food and difficulties eating to my prematurity. I’m sure that it’s probably a combination of both that and Autism.
  • I taught myself to read in preschool. And not just preschool type books. I could read easy chapter books by the time I was 4 or 5, and I read Lord of the Rings in 2nd grade, because I was bored.
  • I was held back in preschool (repeated an extra year) because I was socially behind (despite the fact that I was well beyond my “peers” in terms of academics, and could’ve easily placed into 2nd or 3rd grade).
  • I was both hyperlexic and echolalic. I would often simply recite phrases and sentences from my books in. Additionally, I would (and often still do) use pedantic language and large words to communicate. This made my peers hate me, because when I spoke, they didn’t understand most of my vocabulary. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV, so I didn’t script from that, but I often scripted from my parents’ conversations. I used to get told I was like a dictionary.
  • Drinking milk was one of the worst things ever for me. I am so picky about textures (especially of foods) that I cannot tolerate ANY milkfat in my milk. It gives it a texture I can’t deal with. Even 1% is too much. I don’t drink milk anymore, but when I was a child, I would only tolerate skim milk. And I could *always* tell. And there was often a meltdown if I was required to drink the wrong kind of milk.
  • I was (am) a toe-walker, and I refused to walk around without socks on. Except I was very picky about the socks – they couldn’t have a seam that hit the front of my toes. It had to fall exactly where my toes met my foot.
  • Every time a motorcycle went by me or my house, I would melt down completely, and be inconsolable. I HATED the noise they made. (Who am I kidding – I STILL flinch/jump when motorcycles go by. I have a really hyperactive startle reflex.)
  • I was very particular about being on time to and from things. If my mother was even a few minutes late picking me up or dropping me off, I would panic.
  • I really despised being messy. Playing in the mud/dirt/sand/etc was awful for me, and I would always insist on cleaning up immediately. (Ironically now some of my research involves mud)
  • I would often spin around in circles, staring up at the ceiling or sky. I had a lot of other stims as well. I did this little bouncy thing that involved flapping and/or clapping when I was excited, and when I was upset, there was rocking and flapping. Bouncing usually meant happy, while rocking meant distressed.
  • I lived for lining up things in order. Sometimes it was rainbow order, sometimes alphabetical order, and sometimes times it was just my internal order. I lined up blocks, books, stuffed animals, markers, crayons, and anything else I could get my hands on. My mom has a bunch of pictures of me when I was little proudly displaying my long lines of various things, with a huge grin on my face.
  • I really didn’t relate to my age-group peers. They said I didn’t play right. I thought my peers didn’t play “properly” – they never followed my rules! (and they didn’t use words like “properly” either.)
  • I was incredibly klutzy. Like, trip over my own feet, fall up the stairs, break glasses several shelves above my head, walk into doors and doorframes kind of klutzy. It’s a miracle I didn’t break any bones or require any stitches when I was little! I certainly had enough accidents… (And I still am incredibly klutzy. I trip up the stairs at least once per day, usually more than once. I’ve gotten to the point where I can usually laugh about it, though.)
  • I have known what I wanted to be since I was 4. I have been able to accurately articulate it properly since I was 7. And I have spent my whole life devouring books and other resources learning more about it. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. I used to, and still can, monologue ad nauseum (for everyone else) about my special interests. In fact, now sometimes I even get paid to do so!

And my absolute favorite:

  • People used to call me a “walking, talking encyclopedia”, because I knew tons of random things and they could nearly always count on me to have the answer to what they were looking for (and if I didn’t, I would unabashedly say “I don’t know that”). Oh wait, they still do. 🙂

This list could go on for a very long time (and in fact, when I was first discovering Autism, I wrote a 40 page, single spaced, size 10 font document describing all of my autistic traits in list form – talk about perseverating!) Ironically, despite all of that, my mother tells me I was nearly a textbook baby, and met all my milestones “exactly on time” (for whatever that means), except maybe talking. She hasn’t ever really discussed my speech development timeline with me, except that she used to tell me I walked and talked around the same time, but then later rescinded that to say I talked well after I was already walking. I do not have any external confirmation of either of these, and do not know which is true. Anyway, I thought that people (both those on the spectrum, and parents of those on the spectrum) could probably relate to at least a few of these. What are some of the things you or your kids did when you/they were little?

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I labeled this as “part 1” because I’m sure there will be more posts like this. I do not have a series planned at this time, though.

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Responses

  1. Thank you for writing this and giving me your perspective of some things you did as a child. I look forward to reading more. I just linked to your blog a few days ago, so i have not read too much of what you have already written, but I plan too.
    I have a four and a half year old boy with high functioning autism. Many of the things you describe sound just like him 🙂 I strive to see the world from his perspective so I can understand him and support him so he can be all he can be. He is such a wonderful little person with so many surprises and puzzles to him.
    Like you, he is hyperlexic, he wants to learn everything about everything (and he never forgets it), he is unusually echolalic….not the TV stuff, but more like conversations he’s heard, and he can play the piano. He expressed interest in the piano around 18 months old and began lessons at 3. His first recital, this last December, he played Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy.’ His piano teacher tells me he is a genius.
    As his mother I naturally worry about his future.
    Do you have siblings?
    Thank you again, I look forward to reading more….

    • Hi Stephanie! Thanks for leaving your comment. 🙂 I’m glad you’ve found my blog – I suggest hitting that “posts I’m most proud of” button at the top, and starting from there – I keep a somewhat (read: occasionally) up-to-date list of posts that are particularly important to me, or that were particularly popular, etc. Unless you’re like me, and you need to obsessively read the whole blog from its archive’s beginning, in which case, enjoy. There’s not *THAT* much… yet… 🙂

      I LOVE the piano. I am a big fan of both Mozart (because his music makes so much SENSE and sounds easy but really isn’t) and Beethoven (because his music is just so full of energy and awesomeness). I know, it’s kind of stereotypical, but there you go. I started playing when I was very little, but had to BEG for lessons, which started when I entered Kindergarten. I had the most wonderful piano teacher in the world. I will write a tribute post to her some time soon. (I also play the viola and can play the violin and the cello, but piano is my favorite.)

      I do have a sibling. I have one younger sister.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. like the commenter above i have recently discovered your blog and i have an almost 5 year old boy with HFA. I notice with interest that he too NEVER had the turn the cheek/latch on reflex and initial feeding was a nightmare (understatement! a screaming distressed baby and a sleep deprived stressed out mumma) and feeding has never been good although improving. I now (post dx) look back and see so many things as a newborn even that i could say now hey sensory !!!!! if only had known it them. Sleep and food probs of course linked as he was always hungry/screaming for a feed/not settled post feeds etc and to this day sleep is still difficult. Hes an amazing little man and love him to death – just with we new from Day one what was going on for him so could have made the early years so much better for everyone. But live and learn. thanks for your blog will take a look at hx of it. Like you I love to go back and read through all the archives when I find a new blog. Its just a matter of time though but will get there. Thanks again, Michele

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I didn’t know if anyone else had that latching reflex missing – interesting!

  3. I’ve got a question for you. Maybe you can shed some light for me.

    I know a boy, 9 years old that repeats whatever he says, right after saying it only in a whisper. It’s almost like he’s reassuring himself that he said what he thought he said. He also has a meltdown if overstimulated. For example he cannot go to public school because it’s “too noisy” and when he was little, around 2, would (and still does) melt down in restaurants etc. if they are too noisy. In your knowledge, would you say he should be tested for autism?

    • While I certainly can’t give medical advice, as I have no qualifications (yes, I’m training to be a “doctor” – just not THAT kind of “doctor”), I would say probably. I actually do the same thing of practicing what I’m going to say in a whisper. If you are able, I think getting assessed would probably be a good idea. Do you have a regular pediatrician you can talk to? Those who have met your son would obviously know much better than me. But if nothing else, it sounds like he definitely has sensory issues.

      • thank you for the candid answer. Yes, we have a ped. but she’s one of the county doctors and sees a zillion kids a year and barely remembers Dan since he’s rarely ever sick. I have been thinking for a couple of years that he should be assessed because of his freaking out over going to school. I mean, most kids love going to school, right? For the entire first two years he woulld have to be carried to the school bus, EVERY mornng. He BEGGED to be homeschooled and, when we told him this year that he’d be going to public school next year, he had a panic attack.

        Oh, another thing he’s ALWAYS had issues with is textures of foods and the tags on the back of his clothes, he’s ALWAYS had them cut off because they drive him NUTS.

  4. I have a son who’s aspergers I think rather than autistic. He gets very tense and anxious if anythings out of the routine, changes bother him. He’s also got a prodigious memory for facts, and he’s incredibly bright. He can be charming too,when he wants to be. He used to cry a lot as a child, unlike you.

    • I technically have a diagnosis of “Aspergers/HFA” – honestly, I think they’re probably the same thing, depending on the day. Like I said, I don’t really know if I had a speech delay or not, but if that’s the only thing that really distinguishes the two conditions, as an adult, its really not so relevant. I know the words can mean a lot of difference, though. When I talk to people outside of the Autism community and I have to disclose, I generally say I have Asperger’s – it’s understood better by people, and they’re far less likely to brush it off. When I say “I’m Autistic”, the image that comes to mind is Rainman, and I’m certainly not like that (most of the time), so I find the word Asperger’s is easier to communicate with. Inside the community, I, like many other (young) adults on the spectrum, I am Autistic, because they have a different idea of what the word means. So really, it’s semantics.

      Facts are so amazingly fun. I’m a big fan. I collect facts about all sorts of things. People tell me having a conversation with me is always an education, and while I’m not sure they mean it as a complement, that’s how I take it. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. I really enjoyed reading this, E. Thanks for sharing. I was just thinking last week how I wished you had a ‘request box’ on your blog because I am so curious to know more of your story but don’t want to be nosy or intrusive.

    • Thanks 🙂 I’m glad you liked it.

      I’d never thought of putting a requests box… but in general, if I’m asked something, I will almost ALWAYS answer (unless I have a very good reason not to), and if I do answer, it will be completely honest. But if you leave me a comment or shoot me an email or something, I will happily write a response post. (It might take a few days, with school and other things, but I am always looking for things to write about. Ok, not really, since I have a giant word document titled “blog topics” that I add to far more often than I cross out, but if there’s interest, I’ll definitely write responses.) 🙂

      • I had to think about this for a day 🙂 You mentioned that you were diagnosed as a child but no one ever told you and I have been so curious to hear about your own process of self discovery and acceptance as an adult and how you got there. Also, I am curious to hear more about what school was like for you, particularly in middle school/high school when the social world becomes so intense and complicated. And finally, you have mentioned a few times adults who came into your life and made great impressions on you, I would love to hear more about what they did that made a difference. I think that is everything 🙂 No pressure, I hope that is not too intrusive.

      • Not intrusive at all. 🙂 I’m working on a diagnosis post. It could go on for ages, though, so I’m working on making it into a more readable piece. I’ll push that one higher up my list. 🙂

  6. It’s funny just how many common traits there are, yet children vary so widely in which ones they express. My son flaps, spins, and stims, but has never toe walked or been echolalic. He has also never once lined things up – which is always the go-to behavior people describe.

    I knew you were on the spectrum that night you offered to put my links in that spreadsheet – upon realizing I wasn’t going to do it immediately. I once had a student who would do that to my classroom library. If he saw it needed doing and involved organization, it was akin to torture to make him wait. His eyes would just keep darting back and forth until he could attack it. I loved that about his mind, though – the need to make it better and create order. Kind of noble really.

    And I swear I’m not laughing AT you, E. So many parents of ASD kids report having minor autistic traits themselves, and I have a tendency to do the same kind of thing for people needing information. Mention something you don’t know, and I feel compelled to go look it up. Immediately. And then send a detailed email with several links!

    • Thanks for commenting! 🙂 Don’t worry, I’m chuckling right along with you there. I totally have a tendency to organize and sort and make things into sensical (easier to navigate and use) ways. I’m definitely a “line things up” person. I used to have these little cubes that fit together, sort of like pre-legos or something. I would spend HOURS sorting them by color, then lining them up exactly along the carpet’s edge, in rainbow order of course. The line could stretch for 20 feet! And I have pictures somewhere to prove it…

      And I have a smartphone – a google android. It’s wonderful – I can look stuff up that I don’t know, IMMEDIATELY 🙂 Yay!

  7. Very glad to have found you via Flappiness Is and to have read this post in particular. I’m a mom to a 12-year-old girl “somewhere” on the spectrum – like Aspie, HFA or PDD-NOS-ish – once we got as far as the early testing, and she HATED being “tested,” we decided that was close enough for us.

    Anyway, she is a liner-upper. Always has been. And she was the baby who slept 12-14 hours a night within a week of coming home from the hospital and who never fussed, not even when being left with a sitter. I actually asked the doctor we saw at the time about it – and he basically told me, “Are you serious? You’re complaining about this?” And blew me off.

    Sometimes I think I wish I had been smarter then, more in tune, more willing to push and say, “But I know this little person and I think there must be some REASON why she does this!” Other days, I think it probably wouldn’t have mattered at all.

    My question for you – and I’m sure you’ve posted about this at some point; I’m just now digging in to your archives – is, what kinds of friends do you have and/or want to have? This is a strange and personal question, and I apologize. My background is that I worry most about my daughter because she doesn’t have even one really close friend. She has a handful – maybe five or six – “friends” – two kids in our neighborhood, a couple girls from 4H, and the children of MY two closest friends. But she doesn’t have anyone she can really confide in, the stereotypical “best friend” idea, someone who might sleep over at our house or invite her to a birthday party. She isn’t bothered by it, I don’t think, but she also doesn’t seem like she could articulate it if it did bother her, so I figured I’d seek some outside perspective.

    The thing is, she HATES being “different,” so any attempts on my part to get her involved in groups with other Aspies have been met with total “no-way-mom.” And I’m OK with that. But she doesn’t fit in with the “NT” crowd either.

    I don’t even know what I’m asking at this point. Mostly I want to say I’ll keep reading – and thank you for your honesty; I hope some day my daughter gains the words you have to describe her world, because I want to be part of it with her and she has such trouble trying to speak my language to tell me about it!

    • Hi Joan! Welcome to the blog. Thanks so much for leaving such a great comment. 🙂

      In terms of friends… I was in Girl Scouts growing up, so knew people through that. But wasn’t ever really close to any of them. I was also on a gymnastics team, and was definitely good “friends” with several of my teammates. I got super lucky. When I was in 1st grade, I was in a 1-2 class… half first graders, half second graders, and I met my best friend for life there. I know that sounds silly, but for whatever reason, we clicked. I idolized her (probably much to her annoyance, actually!) and she was patient. The two of us have stayed friends for 16 years, despite distance (we’re a whole continent apart now and have been for years), being in different grades, and overall different places. We bonded over books, over this silly game we made up, and just due to the fact that she is a totally reasonable, kind, wonderful person (and she says the same about me, so I have to believe it). But I think that separation in age (we’re almost exactly a year apart… 1 year, 5 days) helped us in the beginning, though now it doesn’t matter nearly so much. My other good friend (sadly not in as much contact with anymore) was from my gymnastics team. We didn’t go to school together, so we had “gymnastics” in common – that gave us something to discuss and relate to with each other. The two friends I’ve just described were my “go to their house for sleepovers” friends.

      KNOWING you’re different, especially at those pre-teen years, can be awful. You want nothing more than to grow up and fit in. I again, got lucky, that in middle school, I was “adopted” by a girl in my year, and I entered my first group of friends. Looking back on it, I realize that this group of people included two girls who were deaf and used cochlear implants to hear, three girls with serious learning disabilities who had “resource” (special education) during at least some of the day, one girl with severe cerebral palsy who used a walker, and the only (out) gay boy in the grade… band of misfits, much? Sadly, the misfits broke up in high school – huge school, none of us in same classes, etc. but it was a very interesting experience to be included in a group.

      And now? I have a couple of really wonderful friends. My closest friends are those whom I have told about my Autism. They are the ones who invite me to dinners at their houses and understand when I need to leave the room and calm down. They are the ones who check on me when I have sensory overload. They are the ones who listen to me ramble ad infinitum about my special interests. But they are also people who I love to listen to, interact with, and have fun. They are people who are compassionate, respectful, and accepting of who you are, warts and all. And for the most part, they are still, at least a couple of years older than me. (There’s one exception to this). I just get along better with (somewhat) older people.

      So in terms of your daughter – does she have any special interests? For example, if she likes nature, you could take her to nature clubs. If she likes reading, you could encourage her to go to the library for a book club, or start a reading group at school. (I did that in 7th grade, and it served 2 purposes – 1. hang out with friends and read amazing books and 2. get us out of the lunch room at least once a week – reading club was in a classroom). If there’s a sport she likes, particularly for me, sports that are individual-based, but you still work with the same people every practice, that’s a great way to meet people and make friends. Something like Martial Arts is a great thing for that, plus self-discipline, respect, hard work, and self-defense are all incredibly important life skills…

      I hope that long ramble made some sort of sense. Basically I’ve been lucky… there have almost always been wonderful people in my life (TONS of AWFUL people as well, significantly more than the wonderful people, but they’re the ones I don’t care about.) Friendships do take time to build, and one of my issues is that I tend to trust people completely right away OR I tend to not trust them at all. I don’t get the “Gradient of Friendship” thing. But in general, that’s how things happened.

  8. I didn’t make a sound for the first 3 days of my life, so they scratched my foot with a needle to make sure I wasn’t mute.
    When I was 6 months old, I would sit with one of my parents’ books in front of me and turn the pages for hours, slowly and carefully.
    My first word was the number 1.
    I used to line up spoons on the dishwasher every single day at lunchtime when I was a toddler.

  9. I’m so glad to found the blog! I’m the mom to an almost 4 year HFA/PDD-NOS boy. I wish I could get into his head and see the world how he sees it. While I know that autism is different with every child, many of the things you listed I see with my own child (toe walking, noise sensitivity, lining up toys, etc.) I’m hoping reading your blog will give me some ideas about thinking outside of my world. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Yay! Welcome to the blog. Please keep leaving comments 🙂 I’m so glad that even little bits of my strange brain can help you better understand your child. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Very interesting, E!

    As for myself… *sighs* I started to detail some stuff, but it ended up being way too long for a response to a post. So I’m going to be posting it as “ASD Behaviours” on my own blog at some point during the next few days. If you’re interested, feel free to pop by and take a look!

    😉 tagAught

  11. I actually really see similarities in my own early childhood/infancy in your list. The funny thing is, my mom actually wanted to be a special-ed. teacher, yet she denied that I could have a “problem” when the school tried to have me held back in kindergarten due to lack of social skills/friends.

    Some highlights:

    * I was also an “easy baby” according to my mom- I rarely cried, would stay in my crib quietly until she came to pick me up, and liked “white noises” to the point where she’d recorded a tape recording of the hairdryer to play when I was upset.

    * As an older baby/young toddler, she could leave me in one place and come back an hour later and I’d be in the same place.

    * I loved sorting/stacking/lining things up. It made me feel calm and in control. Sometimes I still do it when I’m at work with various things because I do admin work. Using Excel is like my favorite thing because of how the rows line up. and I can use colors to differentiate each section!

    * I read at an early age as well, but not as much an advanced level. I remember in the 4th grade, I read over 200 books in a month, though. I was a regular visitor to the library and often felt like the characters were more “real” than real people.

    * I am VERY rules-oriented and I *HATE* it when I see other people skirting rules. I tattled a bit as a younger kid, then just observed quietly and now I use this tool to figure out what rules are “real” and what are just written down but no one actually follows. It took me a long time to realize this was a THING that I could actually do myself, though.

    * I didn’t have any “proper” friends until 3rd grade. When I was in 2nd grade, I made friends with a boy who had a similar type of personality as me and we pretended to be dinosaurs together-it was so awesome, but when my parents found out, they forbade me to play with him.

    * This is kinda personal but I started masturbating in the prone position at a very early age (4 or 5?) and this kind of stimulation helped me to fall asleep and deal with stress. My mom caught me doing this once and shamed me for it, so I had to do it in secret. Most of my fantasies (starting rather young) were rape because my mom was too graphic about child rape and other bad things “out there” and simultaneously told me I was fat and ugly and unlovable.

    * I pulled out my hair and eyebrows and eyelashes starting at a young age. Sometimes I would eat them to hide the evidence. At first, no one noticed because I have really thick hair. It got bad enough that I had to get them drawn on and my mom shamed and freaked out at me. I also chew the skin around my nails and bite nails too, largely because the couple times where my mom clipped my nails with wire cutters, it hurt so bad, and the feeling of an emery board rubbing on my nails made me want to gag.

    * I have a really strong sense of smell/taste to the point that strong smells and tastes that I don’t like can make me feel physically ill. I can’t eat anything that smells “gassy” to me because it’s like eating garbage. Of course, no one understood this at home, and I had to “clean my plate” so I got really good at hiding things in my napkin or throwing it under the table at the dog.

    * I loved singing/songs from shows and movies because I could sing them over and over and over again and memorize the words and no one would think that was “weird.” But it was kind of like an incantation. I started writing stories and poetry at a very young age and words would just flow into my head like someone was putting them there and even today I sometimes feel a “surge” and have to write or I feel physically sick and can’t concentrate until it comes out of me.

    * I walked late and had problems with coordination and gross motor movement. My mom deemed me a “klutz” and put me in dance class for a few years as “punishment” for not being graceful. It wasn’t very fun because I was the kinda chunky kid and everyone else was a slim and long legged dancer body type. I internalized that I was “fat and ugly” at a young age because I felt like I looked and acted “wrong.”

    I don’t really know how to consider myself in a clinical setting (and I’m not sure how many tools that getting an official diagnosis might give me, but I do know that my daughter does tend to do the toe walking thing and gets really upset easily if things don’t go exactly as she expects and she had trouble doing things if she can’t do them perfectly the first time. She’s also had issues with speaking (even though we met with a speech therapist who says she’s at and even slightly above in word recognition and pronunciation) and didn’t really start conversing regularly until she got into preschool because she used body language so well that at home she generally didn’t like using words to articulate her needs. But I also have a close friend who has worked for years with people on the spectrum and who has never suggested that I may have a problem and comments regularly about how NT my kids are.

    I do know that I don’t want to jump to conclusions either way. My oldest starts school in kindergarten, and I may consider getting her evaluated if she has social issues, but I think that the worst thing about the spectrum is that it’s hard to really “diagnose and treat” because there is such a huge variability in what each person needs. And I do remember the special day classes and how there was and still is a huge stigma if you were diagnosed as being “different.”

    To some extent, the movie “Gattaca” really hit me in a personal place because the idea is that in a world where genetically perfect people exist, everyone else is seen as Other and less, which is exactly how any sort of disability is seen right now. I fear that if I do label my kids, that they will be pushed into the “low track” and have the option of success removed from their reach by those who have the power and privilege to do so.

    As much as I’d love to just smash all the privilege structures to little bits and have everyone judged ONLY on merit and ability in the specific thing that they’re doing, I know that “passing” is often really the only option available to many people so they can survive.

    Not sure where I was going with this, but yeah. It seems like no matter what we do, there’s really no way to win in the search for the truth.

    • Wow, that’s quite a list! 🙂

      As for getting your kids evaluated, I definitely think waiting until other people raise red flags is probably a good idea. But you’re their mom, you know best.

      • Sorry about being overly verbose. I kinda get on a tangent and just keep going and going and going. It worries me because I know that sometimes people want me to stop, but I feel compelled to keep talking until I feel “finished.” >_>

      • Don’t be sorry! I totally get that, I’m often very similar. I’m just having a rough time of it these days and so I’m not able to respond as much as I’d like to. Verbal has been harder than usual of late… Thanks for your comments 🙂 I value them a lot, and I know sometimes writing helps you think through things too…

  12. Do you know, I think there is far more to autism than developmental delay. I too was not delayed in anything other than social aspects. I taught myself to read before starting playgroup which is really really early! And I can remember how I ‘decoded’ it! But like you, there are long, looonnnnggggg lists of Asperger’s traits… Do you think that because generally girls develop quicker and are better at mimicking that this might account for some of it?


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