The kid doesn't have crayons; because they make me nervous. The table, the walls, the art, I see the kid having a blast playing with crayons, and I don't think "Awwww, maybe she'll be an artist someday. Let's put these on the fridge." I think about what a pain in the butt it'd be--for me--if the kid messes something up.
The Squirrelly, on the other hand, has crayons. A giant pile of crayons that would give me an ulcer. The Squirrelly also has parents who put up with the disruptions to normal life that come with having a kid. They value The Squirrelly's fun, learning, and snack-tastic enjoyment--crayons are an important part of the revised Toddler Food Pyramid, after all--over their furniture or their own convenience.
It's just a small example of the kind of selflessness, patience, and desire to do whatever they can for their kid that will help them deal with The Squirrelly's recent--and early, early enough to get potentially effective treatments started--diagnosis with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
Matthew writes on Defective Yeti about going from vague discomforts about "gaze avoidance," to chats with their daycare provider, to the question list for the pediatrician's visit, to a battery of interviews, observations, and tests. And he also touches on the upcoming course of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) which is currently the most effective treatment of high-functioning kids with ASD--and which is, of course, in maddeningly short supply, yet another inexplicable gap in the US health care system.
And then he rounds third with a powerful story of--let me just say, it's not about horseradish. Thanks and all the best, Yeti family; I'm going out to buy the kid some crayons.
This is The Squirrelly Looking You In The Eye. [defectiveyeti.com]