A little intermission, in the form of a story.
Since getting Fiona officially diagnosed with Autism, I have wondered if there was a genetic link (more on that in a later blog, of course). I have a cousin with Autism, and my late brother displayed signs of Autism, but he was never diagnosed as such. And I even see in myself some signs/traits of a higher functioning Autism or Aspergers. I've always been socially awkward & inept. I have trouble making eye contact. I have social anxiety, and OCD. There are few gray areas in my world. I like things to be clear, concise, and everything is black or white, with very few shades, if any, in between. I take things very literally, and sometimes miss the punchline or the point. I have trouble understanding how to interact with people at times. I can listen, I can understand, and I can read people very well, but I just don't know how to process that information sometimes or what to do with it.
I have a little story to tell you to demonstrate what I mean by taking things literally. When I was in middle school, some of the other girls were sitting around in class doing each others' make up. The popular girls. I was never one of them, but that was okay. I would always listen to what was going on around me, curious, nosy, whatever you want to call it. I was listening to their conversation, which seldom contained anything meaningful, but it was sometimes entertaining on a slow day. One of them mentioned that she always dotted her is with a heart. But I heard "eyes" instead of "i".
I remember thinking, what the heck is she talking about? The other girls chimed in about how they dotted their eyes with just a dot, or a paw print, or this or that. I was picturing them actually taking some sort of makeup (because they were doing makeup during this conversation, so it must be the topic, right?) like an eye liner, and actually drawing something on the pupils of their eyes. I was shocked! Was this something one was really meant to do with makeup? No thanks! I think I will pass on that one! I thought they were INSANE.
It was YEARS later, when the thought finally occurred to me (and this memory often troubled me), that they were talking about the letter i, not their eyes! I'm glad I decided that this insane practice was not for me! =)
A bit of a funny story, yes? But see, most people I think would have known right away what they meant, but not me. And I'm not dumb by any means, far from it. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty sharp. But little things like this, are lost on me, because I often take things quite literally. I've gotten better at deciphering things, and am not shy to making analogies, or anything like that, but a scenario similar to the one just described in my story, I would probably still misunderstand, and frequently do.
Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming. <3
Who am I?
- I am Amanda, a stay at home mother to two wonderful children, Fiona & Ferris. Fiona has Autism, possibly caused by a small genetic deletion at 22q13.1 (but not the region attributed to Phelan-McDermid Syndrome - although she presents similarly), but we cannot say for certain, as her particular deletion is undocumented. In other words, according to medical literature currently available, she is the only known person with a deletion in this exact region, and so it is of "unknown clinical significance" and we have no idea what her future holds. Currently she is almost completely non-verbal, her only real word with any real meaning being "boob" as she is breastfed. *gasp* Yes, you read correctly, my almost 3 year old daughter still nurses, and I'm proud of that fact. Ferris is a neurotypical little chubba bubba baby man. He gives me sanity, and hope, and comfort for the future. He is nearly 8 months old at the time of this writing, and he is my charming, adorable, little-big guy. He is also breastfed, and doesn't seem to mind sharing with Sissy, who is the neatest thing since pureed peaches in his eyes. Want to know more? Just ask!