Friday, July 28, 2006

one bad night

As I was surfing the internet reading every bit of information I could get my hands on about Asperger's Syndrome, I came across a link to a screening test for Autism. You answered 20 or so questions and it gave you a rating of "typical" "probable mild autism" "probable moderate autism" or "probable severe autism". The test was designed for 18-24 month old children, but I decided to fill it out anyway, even though Jacob was coming up on his 3rd birthday. I answered all the questions and pushed the button for the results to be tabulated. While I was waiting, one of the questions kept running through my mind, in a panicky, oh my god, sort of way. The question was about pronoun reversal. Pronoun reversal. Prounoun REVERSAL. Jacob had NEVER used a pronoun. I was feeling sick to my stomach. The answer to the quiz clicked onto the screen -- "probable moderate autism".

I called The Map Man over. He convinced me not to panic, though I was finding it hard to breath. He suggested that it's just an internet test, it doesn't neccessarily mean anything. I flipped off the monitor and we went back to a project building dog kennels. Still running through my head was the question about pronoun reversal. I asked The Map Man "have you ever heard Jacob use a pronoun?" We were both watching him out of the corner of our eyes, as he contentedly opened a door to a kennel, stepped inside, shut the door, opened the door, stepped outside, shut the door, and repeated continously as we worked. The Map Man took a long time to answer, but said no, he'd never heard him use one.

After the kennel building was done and The Map Man and kids were asleep, I returned to the computer. I hunted down several other on-line Autism screening tools and took the tests. They all returned the same result -- probable moderate autism. I flicked off the computer and went to bed, pulled the covers over my head, and tried to disappear. Posted by Picasa

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