By Susan Wight
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
- Henry David Thoreau
In many ways Asperger Syndrome seems to be the latest fad. ADD and ADHD were the fashionable diagnosis [...]
Archive for the 'Autism Spectrum Disorder' Category
By Susan Wight
By Cleve Elaine Richey
Long before my decision to pull my seven-year-old son, Alex, from public school, I was his teacher. But teaching him meant far more than “enrichment.” It meant reaching him. It meant his survival.
As a baby, he’d never wanted to be held, never cooed or babbled. Unlike his sister, who took such pleasure when we played with her, Alex didn’t seem to care what he did, where he was, or who was with him.
I’d seen these early warning signs and done my research. Still, I drifted into shock as the director of the prestigious diagnostic center gave us our two-year-old son’s verdict: autism. He drew a normal curve on his legal pad, then a second one underneath, explaining that, as an adult, Alex would function as a five year old. He would be a child forever.
Every night, our Child rocked himself to steep, banging his head on the wall until I moved his bed into the middle of the room. During the day, he twirled a ruler in his hands as he race-walked through our house, concluding his loop by a strange ritual of stamping his feet, grimacing and grinding his teeth. To his bemused six year-old sister, Bethany, “brother” came to mean “stranger.”
I dreamed of Alex running to hug me and talking just like any other boy, and I became determined to make this thrilling dream come true. …Read the rest of this entry »