Well, this time out I'm going to write about something important, and throw in a plug while I'm at it.
One of things I like to do is check out the followers of other online journals that I follow. I will, on occasion, stumble upon something interesting that way. That's how I found out about Velvet Over Steel. No, it's not some kind of kinky S&M journal, but rather something that is part of my life that maybe you don't know about.
I have a nephew, Zach, who is an Aspie, which is to say he displays those aneurotypcial symptoms that are categorized as Asperger's syndrome, and in turn falls within that spectrum of disorders known as autism. And since he is a very, very, very bright kid, he is what they call "high-functioning". And seeing that April is Autism Awareness Month, this entry is my plug for it all.
Admittedly, not much of an effort on my part, but hey, better than nothing. There's a lot of information out there about this topic, but I think the best information of all is that, in some cases, and over time, the condition can improve.
Funny thing is, I suspect that myself and my brothers are all mildly within the spectrum. The baby brother, for example, has that unusual savant skill of being able to tell you which day of the week a date is on. We'd tease him about it. He'd say something like, "Yeah, that happened April 5th, 1971". And we'd respond "A Tuesday". And he rejoin "No, Wednesday-" and then he'd notice we are all grinning and that we are teasing him.
Myself, I used to wonder why others had such a hard time remembering everything they'd ever seen or heard or read. My memory is not phenomenal, hardly comprehensive or photographic, but I suspect it is way above average. (Although I've noticed with alarm that it is rapidly deteriorating with age).
So, it is entirely possible the family is in the spectrum. Zach certainly is. I've had less contact with him that I would have like over the years - seeing as his parents live on the West Coast. But I've had enough contact to know that he is just a really great kid. Very smart, very quick and bright, and sometimes kind of skittish like a colt. He likes the computer games, and rock music, and girls, and honestly, to me, he's really just another teenager, but not quite as obnoxious. Here's a picture of me and him, taken last fall.
A very good-looking kid, don't you think? He favors his mother, fortunately. I just hope he got that side of the family's hair as well. And he's going to be tall, although I'm not sure how that is possible, given that he lives on scrambled eggs, PB&J sandwiches, and pizza.
The title of this essay is my greeting to him from almost the day of his birth. "Hello, old friend". I want him to know that I'm more than just his father's brother, but an old and dear and steadfast friend. Someone he can always count on.
I'd be willing to bet that someone you love, or someone you know who loves someone, has autism.
Well, this is the someone I love.