Monday, November 15, 2010

Seeking an Expert

Is there really an "expert" on autism.

I am skeptical.

How does anyone explain the mysterious? How can anyone look into the minds of these beautiful children and know ....

why they want to do the things they do?

why they NEED to do the things they do?

Why does my son feel the need to touch the world like he does?

Why does he put his hand over his ears at a football game while simultaneously smiling at the sound of the cheering crowd? He is not distressed. But something makes him want to tune out some of the sound.

Why does he squint his eyes when overwhelmed or nervous?

Why is he so fascinated by the repetitive motion of the little things? Why does he need to drop to the ground and watch the mulch drop from his fingertips when he could be climbing the playground equipment?

Why does he look away from me when he must know how desperately I want him to look ... at .... ME.

Why? Why? Why?

Why does he open up his mouth and make a sound so obviously indicating a desire to reach me, to tell me ....


Why can't he put his lips together and produce the sounds he so desperately wants to say?

I can sit here night after night, and type away at this computer if I want to.

I can type for hours, well after the Cheezits are gone, and the possum who eats all the cat food has come and gone from my garage.

I can talk for hours to any friend kind of enough to listen.

But my son can't say a blasted thing.

And nobody can tell me why.

Is there an expert on autism?

Well, there are plenty of people who can describe the symptoms. There are people who can diagnose your child while sending you on your way with all the bedside manner of a sloth.

But there is no expert here in my living room. There was no expert telling me how to keep my family together. There was no expert telling me how to maintain my sanity while processing all of this confusion and hurt.

Maybe some day ....

the experts actually will know something.

Leah blogs at