Most people like to think they are different and unique. Snowflakes. The truth is we are all very much the same, at least in our cells. Yes, snowflakes look different but they are still made of two things: water and oxygen. When I see kids with autistic traits like toe walking and getting so excited by watching cars move, in my heart I feel like there is one thing that links these kids together in these behaviors. Maybe one child can’t talk but is great at riding a bike, while another can talk but walks on his toes and doesn’t know how to play with other children. So there must be one thing, that one thing, that can remove the cause of the behaviors completely and “rewire” the child.
There is a saying, the phrase that drives me crazy, which is: If you’ve met one kid with autism, you’ve met one kid with autism. I don’t think they are all so different. They each share something that is causing their development to stall in a few fragments or many. When I look at my son who is almost five, he does flapping still and has some social awkwardness at times, but I don’t call that autism. What I do call autism is what has happened to my almost three year old. He still cannot talk, he toe walks, he cannot go down steps by himself, has problems regulating his body, and does not point. While his mood is always improving, and sleep is becoming more predictable, these big development issues still remain. We are trying to chip away at them everyday, through talking to him, through his diet and through the endless researching. Where is the golden rule book on autism? Why have I had to trudge through all of this since he was 18 months old? He has had early intervention, he has had occupational therapy. But still his big light, the light of communication and being more aware of himself in space, has not clicked yet. What is the “thing” going to be that will work? Is it a multivitamin formula that I haven’t discovered? Is it the fact he needs to eat a scrambled egg at night? How about speech therapy on Tuesdays and Fridays, and occupational therpay on? I don’t think any of this makes sense anymore. I think it’s something inside – on a cellular level, that has to be changed, to get him out of this and into our world. Part of why I started writing again on this site is to help myself to think outloud and get my thoughts and research sorted together. And I pray I figure something out so that I can help another parent. Even just one child.