Monday, July 05, 2010


I’m always a little cautious in how I use the words “cure” and “recovery.” When it comes to reversing the disabling manifestations that come with ASD, “cure” is a process, and not a result. And “recovered” is too final; who is to say how much recovery is possible? But every now and then we get a little reminder of just how far we’ve come.

The Little Rankster has come a long way from the dire predictions we received with his diagnosis. It’s the little moments that drive the point home for us.

Last night was the Fourth of July: Independence Day. To watch the fireworks display in our little suburban community, we found ourselves going to a nice green space some distance away from our neighborhood. We were surrounded by hundreds of families, none of whom we had ever met.

The fact that we were going to see fireworks at all would have been remarkable a few years ago ⎯ too much noise. A few years ago, the first time our son was able to just sit there and enjoy the beauty of the display, was one of those moments of victory. He eventually became a pyrotechnic aficionado. Last night, though, the Little Rankster was out for more than just sitting back with the noise and light.

We were worried about how we could keep the boy amused for the 45 minutes or so between our arrival and the start of the show. Our worries were needless. As soon as we started setting up the chairs, the Little Rankster informed us that he really preferred to run with the other kids rather than hang out with us. Many of the other families had come prepared with sparklers for their children. We had to apologize to our son for being so unprepared, but he had never been so bold as to want one before. But we watched as our little boy ran from family to family of complete strangers mooching sparklers. My wife and I weren’t sure if we should have been mortified or ecstatic. We chose the latter.

As it grew dark, we were having more and more difficulty keeping an eye on our son. There was no anchoring him to us, however. He was having fun joining in with other groups of kids. He was declaring his independence from his parents.

We’re not ready to declare victory just yet. The process of cure and recovery goes on. Every now and then, though, it’s good to just sit back, think about how far we’ve come, and enjoy the fireworks.

Thursday, July 01, 2010