Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ringing the bell

After a recent scare--my Autistic son decided to go and visit a neighbor without my knowledge--I've been dwelling on Simon and all of his many differences. I've been brooding over his nebulous and unpredictable future.

Most days I am lucky: I remember that I have one of the sweetest people I know for a son. Simon is incredibly, unusually good natured and happy (usually). The thing is, he talks with his eyes instead of his mouth. He just won't be pegged into the expected developmental slots. There really isn't a measure in the children's magazines or doctors' charts for all those things he's good at--nonverbal communication, enjoying clouds, infectious giggles. Sometimes this makes me worry. Lately, I've been worried a lot.

Then along came this video (thank you Mike). When I see something like this I can remember that "normal" is merely a region on somebody's bell curve. In a lot of ways, Simon's ahead of that curve--he just doesn't brag about it.

Incidentally, when he happens to have some accomplishment he wants to brag about, he brags. He does it about the way you'd expect any person to brag, the only exception is that it is wordless.

The gentleman in this video, Stephen, has Autism, too. Like my son, he lives in a world that doesn't speak his language. I think this man has negotiated that language barrier very well. His accomplishments give me a glimpse of a future I can recognize.

I've stopped worrying so much.


  1. Thanks, Christie.
    My nephew is wordless and I think, as you do, that "normal" is just a statistical concept - not at all adequate to talk about people.
    Have a nice summer.

  2. Umberta,

    Sometimes labels or even mere words can't tell the whole story, do they?