I read about some exciting research
that came from the MIND Institute
that two distinctly different types of biological Autsim have been studied and confirmed. I find this both fascinating and exciting, because it confirms some of my experiences with James and gives me hope for the future.
How many of you have heard the phrase "You've seen one person with Autism .... and you've seen one
person with Autism"?
It's felt so true to me. Especially from the days when I first started to really admit to myself that something was not right with James' development. Everyone had their opinion as to "was he ok / was there something wrong," with many people of the former opinion than the latter. Right up to his pediatrician who told me "He can't be Autistic - he looks you in the eye."
I could see their point, and still can. James, while exhibiting some classic Autistic traits, has always loved people and openly shown it.
Even during the scary period of time when he'd "zen" out and stare off into space, not responding to his name or a hand waved in front of his face (and we became scared that he might be having mini seizures) he'd gravitate to a group of people hanging out and socializing. He loved playgrounds and never retaliated with force or biting when some of the kids played roughly in the sand box or rocking animals. He had gorgeous, enormous blue eyes and he'd smile so sweetly at you he'd melt every heart in a 25-foot radius.
And yet ... I felt a lack of connection with him. He was spookily calm, and made noises like a squawking parrot rather than a toddler to communicate. His fingers and wrists splayed at odd angles, almost frozen. He could hear a pin drop from halfway across the house, loved music, and his big sister. He did not line up his toys, yet he did repetitive motions and loved to spin things.
At the CAD Clinic
, it was informally thought that James would test at Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified
(PPD-NOS), but in fact he tested with more severe needs as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One of the clinicians explained the findings as James having both strong strengths and weaknesses, with the former being the teeth of a comb and the latter the comb's gaps. In some places the teeth (strengths) had no gaps, in other areas, some teeth (strengths) were missing, forming bigger gaps.
I like the comb analogy. Do you know how many different types of combs you can find at a store? Think of all the combs you've had -- many different types, yes?
Now just think if further research enables us to identify and categorize Autism as we now can tell the difference between a pocket comb, a pick, a flat-top styler ... and then builds therapies that match them and helps those on the Spectrum to led lives that are as happy, productive, and independent as possible. Oh, yes, I am getting excited all over again. I think this is on the right track.
Read original post