I've thought on it long enough ... now I think I am ready to write about it.
Before I left for Canada, my friend Pat told me about a thought her daughter in law, Laura had about B-Man ... Did he possibly have autism? She pointed out the things that had her wondering that and I saw what she was saying. This option had never even occurred to me. It opened up another set of rails on the track. I talked to Jerry about it, he dismissed it because he'd apparently researched it on the internet and said he just didn't fit the profile. So once again ... I let it go.
However, when we were in Canada it was Autism awareness month. The area I was staying at in Alberta is very small and hasn't much news going on - so the topic was covered pretty much every day in the papers. I read, feeling my stomach and spirits sinking with every article. He may not fit every single description, but enough that it made me squirm.
Then there was also the sharp contrast between him and his cousins around his age and younger. They interacted more, spoke more ... they seemed so much more mature than B-Man. All of them, down to my two year old niece.
My good friend Maria had also noticed B-Man's odd ... quirks. We talked at length about what I had noticed and she suggested that I allow her brother, Conrad Boehme, a childhood psychologist who specializes in (ironically) diseases such as autism to observe B-Man and discuss my concerns. I fully agreed.
After meeting with Con over a Sunday dinner, filling out paper work he'd written up as sort of a "autism checklist" and discussing at length B-Man's strengths and weaknesses he confirmed the over all thought ... B-Man is a high functioning autistic. He had many suggestions for follow up here in Texas, which I have been following.
On one hand, this is incredibly heart breaking. He will never be "normal". There is no "cure" for autism, they say the part of the brain that it effects pretty much shouldn't be fiddled with. He can be worked with. Helped to acclimate to situations better, associate in a friendlier manner ...
I have been told it is a blessing he has an older sibling who is so social and bossy. She forces him to interact with her regularly, coddles him, loves on him ...
You know how they say Heavenly Father never gives you more than you can handle? Sometimes I wish I could "handle" a little less.
Oh I started saying "on one hand" so I guess there has to be another hand too. The "other hand" would be that I am now able to see the things that he does that he cannot help. This helps me build patience, knowing that he isn't doing it to defy me or being stubborn. He just ... is.