Well, I thought it was a big deal. And maybe it was. Probably not, but to me...
This weekend, I saw something that thrilled me. My wife was less impressed than I was, likely because she is less fearful about this whole journey than I have been. Anyway, here's what it was: We were told that autistic children tend to play with toys differently than other children. They line up their toys (Leo does that) and they use objects in ways other than intended. I remember being asked if he pretends toy planes can fly. I don't recall the answer. I thought so, but I couldn't be sure.
Well, this weekend, I was sure. Leo was playing with a toy helicopter in one hand and a truck in the other. And while he kept the truck on the floor, he held the copter in the air.
"Did you see that?" I asked my wife. She looked at me as if I'd just figured out how to tell the hot water tap from the cold. Our son is on the autism spectrum, not the idiot spectrum. Different, not less. He knows how to play with toys. What's the big deal?
I want that confidence. I want to put every achievement in a proper, "normal" perspective. I want to smile at the little things and save the "oohs and aahs," the "marvel," for the big things, like an A on a calculus test or something. There's no need to feel giddy about the fact that Leo recognizes the difference between a helicopter and a truck and adjusts his play accordingly. No reason at all.
But I'm giddy. Sue me.
If you're curious about whether your toddler might be autistic, please discuss it with your child's pediatrician.