Hindsight Being 20/20 ~ 3 of 7

A Life Long Adventure ~ Hindsight Being 20/20 by Cathy Zimmerman

Once we had the Asperger Syndrome diagnosis and started reading up on it, we realized that symptoms had started showing up even before our son was one year old.  He was mesmerized by anything that would spin – ceiling fans, stacking cups, spinning tops, etc.  He became supersensitive to food textures, and many foods that he enjoyed pureed, he wouldn’t eat in a chunkier form, without gagging and regurgitating the offending food (and anything else eaten).  To this day, he has an oral sensitivity in that he doesn’t like anything touching his upper lip, and he is still picky about foods with skins, such as grapes and blueberries.  With great persistence and disguise, we have overcome the objection to corn and peas.  One small step for mom …

He was also extremely sensitive to loud noise and commotion.  He is now able to tolerate more noise, especially if it comes with an activity that he thoroughly enjoys.  For instance, he is thrilled to go to a Minnesota Wild hockey game or a Minnesota Twins baseball game (indoors at the Metrodome).  The noise factors in these two venues are huge, and it amazes me that he can “override” the noise sensitivity because he so loves to watch the games right there at the ball park or ice arena.

Other symptoms that appeared before and after his first birthday were echolalia (where he repeated what he heard and had very little original thought speech) and abnormal play with toys.  For instance, instead of pushing toy cars and trucks around on the floor and making engine sounds, he would simply line them up.  He did the same line-up behavior with cereal and cracker boxes, never opening them up to see what was inside, but just laying them on a side one after the other on the kitchen table.  He repeatedly opened and closed cupboard doors – not to take things out, but just to watch the doors move.  As far as the echolalia went, I would ask him a question, which he would repeat back to me.  So I would ask him if that meant “yes” in order to clarify, and he would repeat “yes” back to me.  I was never sure I was getting the right answer or a straight answer or any answer at all!  It was almost as comical as Abbott and Costello in their classic “Who’s On first” skit.  We have moved well beyond that stage, praise God!

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 ~ NIV))  Seriously!  I would be in constant state of being overwhelmed if all I did was worry about tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and beyond.  I would be in a padded room with pajamas that tie in the back.  This verse gives us a very serious command from our loving Father, “DO NOT WORRY.”  What good does it do?  None.  What harm does it do?  LOTS! Planning and preparing for the days ahead and the future is not the same as worrying.  You have to have a plan and be prepared, but you also have to leave it in God’s hands.  He orders our steps no matter what our plans happen to be.  Case in point:  Did I plan to have a special needs child?  But this is the path He has me walking.

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