Ned Nice and the Laws of Social Relativity

 

Teghan at Autism Walk

Teghan was unusually social with this guy. She couldn’t get enough of him.

 

Maybe I am more sensitive than I thought. I pride myself on the fact that I am not one to read too much into what others say and do. I am pretty good at not getting caught up in the idea that everything (or anything at all) is about me, and I am usually quite hard to offend. Because, well, it’s not very often that people mean to offend.

I figure whatever crime someone has committed against me, surely I am doing the same thing to someone else without even realizing it. I doubt anyone is out to get me, or making a point to make me feel excluded in some way- and I certainly am not attempting such a thing on someone else. These are all emotionally healthy assumptions to make about others.

But I also find myself reacting in unexpected ways. I can’t help it. I judge and rank people in my mind. I decide not to give more to someone than what they would return, and I sometimes make the assumption that they would return nothing. I think to myself, “I am never going to be the one who cares more.” I don’t want to chase after someone’s affection or approval. And I don’t want to be the one who can be counted on for these things, either, because that is a responsibility I will fail at.   Continue reading

Autism- A Small Piece of Our Puzzle

Our daughter, Teghan, was officially diagnosed with Autism at the age of three. I say “officially” because we kind of knew for a long time. Although she was ahead of schedule with all of her milestones, the signs were there from the beginning. Autism affects language and social skills – something babies develop over time. So autism reveals itself slowly over time, as well. But there are moments when you know.

At first, we would wake up in the morning and think something had happened to her. She never woke us up. She has always been a great sleeper, but she was funny about waking up. She would play in her crib, sometimes for hours before we would even know she was awake. She never attempted to call for us or get our attention. She said words at the appropriate age, but never “mama” or “dada.” And not really words with purpose. Eventually she stopped saying them altogether.

She didn’t point. She didn’t show things to us, or show any desire to invite others into her world. She was content to quietly play by herself, all day if we let her. She didn’t seem upset when we left, she didn’t seem excited when we returned. But not always. I mean, she never pointed or shared, EVER. But she was playful. She was always happy. She seemed excited about some things, and in those moments she seemed incredibly normal. That is why everyone said she was fine. That is why we talked ourselves out of it so many times. But we did have to talk ourselves out of it… because there were times when we knew. Continue reading