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How my son taught me about his autism

“My brain has big doors,” he began, “and it has almost the same doors as everyone else. The other people have black doors. I have purple doors instead of black doors. That’s why they’re different.”

I thought I understood my Little Dude. That assumption changed recently, when he suddenly began explaining to me how his brain works. I do not know what prompted him to share this display of cognitive awareness, except that since he started preschool — in the Preschool Program for Children With Disabilities at our local elementary school — he seems more aware of the fact that he’s a little different.

Until recently, he’s been shielded from that. Protected within the nest of family and close friends, Little Dude has always been considered charming, if shy; intensely bright, if overly focused. Our fourth child and our only son, my husband and I chalked up much of his quirky behavior to “boyishness.” His interests, though surprising in their intensity, seemed typical in subject: “Thomas the Tank Engine,” “Go Diego Go.” The fact that he knew, at age 4, the name of every character in all six “Star Wars” movies evidenced to us an excellent attention span, a tremendous capacity for detail, and a budding interest in science. We did not think it signaled a disorder.

Read more here: How my son taught me about his autism – Real Families – Salon.com.

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