Saturday, October 29, 2005

"I bounced 60 times mom." What good jumping! "Actually, it was bouncing, mom..."

"If you put 100 people with autism in a room, the first thing that would strike you is how different they are. The next thing that would strike you is the similarity."

-- Dr. Fred Volkmar, the Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry and professor of pediatrics and psychology, "Lifting the Veils of Autism," International Herald Tribune, Feb. 26, 2004.

I had not one but TWO of those rare moments this evening at the "Trunk-or-Treat" event we attended.
We were to meet a couple of families from church at a neighboring church for this fall festival type gathering. Being on my own, I really didn't get to visit with them; the girls had their own agenda naturally. LOL. But two interesting things happened while we were there.
Shortly after we had arrived, while I was waiting for the girls to come down one of those inflatable tunnel slide things, I spotted this woman who for whatever reason I recognized immediately as a gal I spoke to at length at an Autism Resource Fair about three weeks after Abby had been dx'd. That encounter was very encouraging for me, but still, it has been a few crazy years since. What was really funny is that she remembered me! She said, "Ah yes! And ya'll were on TV last Feb., right?" She had not met the girls before. She was appreciative of both their progress and their ongoing struggles, all without me uttering a word. Anyway, it was just cool.
Then later, I was in line with Abby at a bounce house (Beans was with one of the other families' dads) and she was about to flip out to get in, but there were some bigger boys in there. One 'a little too big,' I thought at the time. Another lady got to talking to me, we were chuckling over Abby's particularlness about various things as she prepared to enter the bounce house. I did not say anything about her dx of course, I mean, why would I? She said a few things that hinted at the subtext of the ASD lingo, but neither of us came out and said anything. When this boy who turned out to be her son exited I knew. He was a very HFA 16 year old, but still...
At any rate as Abby went in and he got reaccustomed to being out, Abby informed me that she would jump twenty times, then tweny more times and "Did I know what 20*20=? Four, zero, zero. Mom, I got something to tell you...When you have two zero's next to each other and you put number in front it means that number and one hundred." This is an old standby of hers I must endure at least 25 times a day or more. I was half listening when I caught the mom's eye and I knew that she knew.
It was so neat. I can't exactly explain it but for a split second I knew for sure there was someone on this planet, possibly in a neighboring zipcode who I didn't have to explain a thing to.
God is good.
And anyone who managed to read this whole post ain't too shabby themselves.

'Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.'
Philippians 4:8


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