unwrapping the gifts

One day when I look back?

a diary of a mom

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It is October of 2008.

I am sitting across the table from John Robison, having dinner. It is the first time we have met. He is speaking about the “gifts” of autism. He is telling me that he knows that with “little ones like [mine] it can be hard to spot the gifts, unlike it is with adults like [him.], where they are far more obvious.” I am working hard not to be defensive. He is, as far as I can see, nothing like my daughter. He has Asperger’s. She has classic autism. He speaks beautifully, eloquently articulating his experiences and sharing his inner world. She struggles to find words for her most basic needs.

My child speaks in scripts. Novel language is almost non-existent. She repeats sounds, echos the ends of words. Her ability to parrot what she’s heard is almost eerie, but doesn’t do her a whit of…

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