Friday, April 6, 2012


Opposition is a natural part of life.  Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition-such as lifting weights- we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity. -Stephen R. Covey

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. -Alexander Graham Bell

One of the reasons I started this blog was to share those things we saw in our Little Man which, in retrospect, where the first signs of Autism.  So if you are reading this post and know anyone who has concerns about a loved one, please read my earlier posts on our first signs of autism:  WHAT'S IN A NAME  and OTHER SIGNS.

My wife and I often wonder if there were people out there who from their background, knowledge or experience, saw a reason to be concerned before we did, but could not bring themselves to raise an issue with us.

On the eve of the early morning of our Autism Epiphany, we were at a party where my wife met a nice young woman who was an aide in a Special Education class.  They spoke about the class for a while before my wife excused herself.  When my wife returned a moment later, she overheard this woman observe to someone else that our Little Man was doing something (i.e., watching himself dance in a reflection on a stove) that she saw kids in her class do.  My wife will tell you that in that moment –she felt like time stood still.  A few sleepless hours later, we compared notes, and decided it was time to call for help. 

When we first told people that story, the reaction was almost universally a “Who does she think she is” type reaction.  Indeed, when that nice young woman was told that her comment was the straw that caused the camel’s back to give way, she was mortified and apologetic.  She insisted that she did not mean anything by it, that it was just an observation on a specific behavior, not a commentary on our little man.  

But, both then and now, we were and are VERY, VERY THANKFUL that my wife overheard that observation.  It caused us to act and get our child the intervention he needed.

It is a very delicate thing to tell parents that their child is not developing appropriately.  Not only because the sting of that realization is paralyzing, but also because it could be taken to imply that the parent is not diligent or does not know their own child.  In fact, I know of parents who have had difficulty reconciling where one saw reason for concern about the child’s development and the other did not.  Delicate indeed.

Should it be that way?


  1. "Should it be that way?" ... I don't know the answer to this. But being thrust into the world of parenthood, ill-equipped as I was to deal with the judgments, comparisons, comments and criticisms, I realized the error in my own thinking. I don't hear comments, remarks, or suggestions in the same way I used to. Had I read this story two years ago, I probably would have had the same reaction of those in the "who does she think she is" camp. Now, my reaction is simply admiration for your family that you acted quickly once you became aware there might be some concerns. You all exhibited great courage, in my humble opinion.

    But yes, delicate indeed.

    1. Thank you for your kind words on several of these posts. It was a very long road from us being oblivious about his delays to us recognizing them. But the comment I referenced in this post came at just the right time where we were starting to doubt on our own. Maybe 1 month earlier and we would have been outraged, I bet!

  2. Oh wow - we are right in the middle of this experience ourselves. We are going through testing for determining autism in our oldest child; our 5 year old son, Ethan. I remember it hitting like a ton of bricks when we realized that something was "different" ( there a better term?)with Ethan. At times, it has been very trying and stressful. I will be making frequent visits here to see the rest of your posts on this subject.

  3. I am sorry to hear that about Ethan. We often use the word "different." A long time ago, we just agreed it was not "different bad" it was just "different different." I hope you find some comfort on the posts here. Trying our best to stay positive and see the silver lining in it all.

  4. Loving your posts - reading backward. I can't even start to think how I'd cope - but it seems as if you are equipping yourselves with as much information as you can gather and applying it as appropriate!