Sunday, 17 February 2013

I Spy Someone Like Me

Since Alex was diagnosed, I sometimes find myself playing a little game out in public.  I look at all the children running around and try to spot the other children on the spectrum.

With odds like 1 in 88, math suggests that there must be several autistic children living in our neighbourhood.

I watch for the subtle signs: the child staring off into space while he plays, the one endlessly running a car back and forth, the child talking to herself as she repeats dishwasher detergent commercials.

I rarely ask for confirmation of my guesses.  It would be more than a little rude.

But sometimes I'll catch an independent confirmation.  A little puzzle piece ribbon pin attached to a bag or swag from Autism Ontario.

Then I can look at the other parent's eyes and give a little smile and nod.  We recognize our fellow troopers in the field, sharing a bond no parent of a neurotypical child can ever completely grasp.

And we walk away, knowing we're not alone.  Which makes the battle just a little bit easier.

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