Asperger Syndrome (aka Asperger’s Syndrome), googled in Wikipedia, is “defined by a distinguished pattern of symptoms rather than a single symptom. It is characterized by impairment in social interaction, by stereotyped and restricted patterns of behavior, activities and interests“… Asperger is now quite commonly heard of in our present society, with much improvement in the understanding and integration into all areas of mainstream life, school, family, and workplace.
I was introduced to it through my own son, now nine. Ethan was diagnosed at four, but it was clear from birth with a distinct dissattachment to his surroundings and seemed to have his own agenda to early developmental milestone, like running at 9mths, the fine motor skills of an escape artist or the hypnotic calm of spinning things…and himself.
A baby brother Noah, arriving fifteen months later highlighted the years of creativity and role-play. Noah would be creating elaborate stories down on the little peoples farm while Ethan anxiously helped re-unite pairs of animals and items in their statistical order. Developing the intricate balance of play between these two brothers has contributed to the success of our family unit and I enjoy watching now how they involve each other’s strengths and creativity. For Noah, living in the shadow of Asperger, can be a dark and lonely place which will be concerning if society overlooks him for simply being ‘nero-normal’.
In his nine years of life, Ethan has been poked, prodded, analysed, attended three different schools. He is underweight, hearing impaired and has adult teeth arriving in all directions. Our household has been through screaming, squealing, squeezing, bouncing, obsessions, disappearances, sleepless years, diets, hospitals, surgeries and all things unexplainable and unidentifiable. But I do not want to tell those stories. Because between the lines is a little boy is articulate, eccentric, expressive, engaging and brave.
Through his uniqueness he brings clarity to our complicated lives. He brings joy outside the limits of our routine and revelation that cannot be measured. Through his uniqueness he dispels our walls of safety. One day, I saw him mesmerized by the droplets of water dripping from the tap, and I decided to watch a droplet too… I was taken into his world…silent and magnified. Pure. It is the nature of something beautiful, wild, untamable, inspiring.
I aim to give these stories, from between his lines, slowly over a period of time through a series of photographs and his own words… A privileged peek… may they amuse, educate and warm your soul.
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