June 11, 2009 at 10:19 am 1 comment

     We used to live in a seemingly idyllic neighborhood, one where everyone used their front porches, kids were let loose to play freely in the center greenbelt without supervision, and everyone knew everyone else. It was almost difficult to get any privacy there, really. It was the kind of place my Mom thinks could have cured C’s autism (although she would never use that word) had we stayed. She’s somewhat of the belief that lack of experiences alone is really at the core of C’s issues; as if we just let him run around unsupervised with the other kids in the neighborhood long enough, he would eventually overcome his social challenges.

     There was another boy with autism in the neighborhood – at least I think so. He was older, high school aged, and was also allowed to wander freely, sometimes appearing in our back yard silently and leaving moments later. The first time I encountered him, I was in our driveway with C, and the boy walked up to us, baseball bat in hand and an odd look on his face. I admit to being immediately frightened, not knowing who he was or anything about him. It didn’t take me long to figure it out, however, and my fear dissipated.

     I never met his parents, and wondered about their lives with this boy of few words. Had they struggled with his diagnosis early on? Did they worry about his future? Had they reached the point of acceptance of how he got along in the world, knowing he would continue to wander from house to house in our seemingly safe little spot on this earth?

     I’d like to think I would’ve gotten to know his family had we stayed more than a year in that little utopia, and they us. Yet my lingering memory of this boy was watching from an upstairs window one morning while he ran shrieking down the street in only his underwear to hug the neighborhood matriarch while she was on her morning walk. She loved him more than anyone, and clearly the feeling was reciprocated, as she greeting him with open arms and a chuckle. I watched as his Mom chased after him and hoped that if not that day, sometime later she would smile at that memory just like I do.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , .

Wordless Wednesday Dizzy

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. mama edge  |  June 12, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Isn’t it strange to look back and realize that autism touched our lives before we even knew what it was? I knew a boy in school who very definitely was on the spectrum, and he and I had a special bond as fellow bully bait. I’ll never forget him waving clumsily at me in the hallway and yelling “Heeeeey, Maw-raw” so loudly that everyone would stop in their tracks around him. I’d yell back, “Heeeeeeeey, Aaaaadaaaaaam!”, winning myself the gift of his wide goofy grin.

    Let’s hope our kids leave others with some special memories, too.


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