Friday, March 26, 2010


Sometimes, parents of kids on the spectrum don't even know their child has a problem until they have another kid a few years later. The new typically-developing kid starts asking questions, answering questions, and understanding instructions in a way that makes the parents realize that all is not well with kid #1. I've heard of this happening more than once.

It did not happen to us. In fact, I found out I was expecting kid #2 around the same time Martin received his diagnosis. I've wondered at what point, if any, our second child would "lap" the first in terms of verbal development.

Sasha, who is almost two, talks a lot. She requests soft-boiled eggs in the morning. She can tell us that her diaper is messy. She can tell you how old she is. Of course, she cannot speak as well as Martin. Her brother's sentences have grown increasingly complex. I counted eleven words in a sentence he said yesterday.

But Sasha - even before she has turned two - seems to have an easier time at the back-and-forth of human conversation. When asked a question, she looks interested and responds. Sometimes her responses make no sense - like when she asked for a pair of pants to put on her head when I inquired about her clothing needs. But she can have a conversation. In fact, she seems to like having conversations.

This capacity of hers simply blows me away. I'm constantly amazed that I do not have to ask her to look in my eyes. I'm surprised that she listens to what I'm saying. I can't believe that communication doesn't have to be an uphill battle.

But then I remember that Martin is the one fighting the real uphill battle. Not me. It's so easy to forget that.

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